Lisa J. Merlo Ph.D., M.P.E.

Contact Information

Dr. Lisa Merlo
Department of Psychiatry
University of Florida College of Medicine
PO Box 100256
Gainesville, FL 32610-0256


Dr. Merlo is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Florida College of Medicine; Affiliate Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Florida College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Affiliate of the UF Institute for Child Health Policy. In the UF Department of Psychiatry she serves as Assistant Residency Program Director for Psychotherapy Training, and Director of Research for the UF Health Florida Recovery Center. She also serves as Director of Research, Professionals Resource Network, Inc., Fernandina Beach, FL.

Research Area

Research Area: 
Dr. Merlo’s research is concerned with psychosocial factors related to the prevention and treatment of addiction and the promotion of recovery.


2000: B.A., Transylvania University, Lexington, KY (Psychology, Spanish and Drama)
2002: M.A., Wayne State University, Detroit MI (Psychology)
2005: Ph.D., Wayne State University (Clinical Psychology)
2005-2007: Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Florida (Clinical Child/Adolescent and Pediatric Psychology)
2008-2010: Postdoctoral Fellowship, Washington University, St. Louis, MO (Training Program in Drug Abuse Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research)
2010: M.P.E.,Washington University, St. Louis, MO (Psychiatric Epidemiology)

Current Research

Dr. Merlo’s primary research focus is on psychosocial factors related to addiction. She is particularly interested in special populations including youth, healthcare professionals, and trainees in the health professions. Dr. Merlo serves as the Director of Research for the Professionals Resource Network (Florida’s monitoring program for professionals with potentially-impairing conditions), and has published and presented widely on the topic of substance-related impairment among healthcare providers. Dr. Merlo also conducts research with health professions students, in order to better understand students’ knowledge, competence, and stigmatized beliefs related to addiction, as well as best practices for improving addiction-related education. She collaborates with other researchers across the university and state, as well as nationally.

Recent Publications

1.     Merlo, L.J., Watson, R.L., Curran, J.S. (in press). Gender differences in substance use and psychiatric distress among medical students: A comprehensive statewide evaluation. Substance Abuse.

2.    Merlo, L.J., (2016). Healing physicians. Journal of the American Medical Association, 316 (23), 248-90.

3.     Komro, K.A., Livingston, M.D., Wagenaar, A.C., Kominsky, T.K., Pettigrew, D.W., Garrett, B.A., & the Cherokee Nation Prevention Trial Team (2017). Multi-level prevention trial of alcohol use among high school students in the Cherokee Nation.  American Journal of Public Health, 107, 453-9. PMID: 28103073 / PMCID: PMC5296689

4.     Merlo, L.J., Campbell, M.D., Skipper, G.E., Shea, C.L., & DuPont, R.L. (2016). Outcomes for physicians with opioid dependence treated without agonist pharmacotherapy in physician health programs. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 64, 47-54. PMID: 26971079

5.     *Flanagan, T.B., *Sutton, J.A., Brown, L.M., Weinstein, D.A., & Merlo, L.J. (2015). Disordered eating and body esteem among individuals with Glycogen Storage Disease. JIMD Reports. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 25665833

6.     Merlo, L.J., *Sutton, J.A., Conwell, T., & Brown, M.E. (2014). Psychiatric conditions affecting physicians with disruptive behavior. Psychiatric Times, 31,56-58.

7.     Merlo, L.J. (2014). Drug testing of healthcare professionals to improve overall wellness and patient care. Invited commentary on “Alcohol and drug testing of health professionals following preventable adverse events: a bad idea.American Journal of Bioethics. 2014.” American Journal of Bioethics, 14,38-41. PMID: 25369414

8.     Merlo, L.J., Cummings, S.M., Cottler, L.B. (2014).  Prescription drug diversion among substance-impaired pharmacists. American Journal on Addictions, 23, 123-8. PMID: 25187048