Jennifer Merrilees, PhD, RN

Clinical Nurse Specialist

Jennifer Merrilees received her doctorate degree in nursing from the University of California, San Francisco. She is a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Geriatrics at the Memory and Aging Center and Associate Clinical Professor (volunteer series) for the UCSF School of Nursing. Jennifer is part of a multidisciplinary team focused on the evaluation and management of people with cognitive and behavioral symptoms. She is the nurse coordinator of our clinical services, responsible for reviewing all new patient referrals, patient triage and dealing with patient care issues. She participates in a nurse-run clinic focused on dementia behavior management and conducts research focused on dementia family caregivers. She is part of the CMS-funded Care Ecosystem study, testing a model of supportive dementia care. Jennifer is co-investigator for two NIH-level funded projects focused on dementia family caregivers. One seeks to characterize the nature of emotions experienced by dementia family caregivers and the other aims to increase positive affect as a strategy for coping with stress. She is also one of the primary nurses for the NIH-funded program project grant entitled Frontotemporal Dementia: Genes, Imaging and Emotions where she conducts family interviews and collects data that focus on functional aspects and dementia severity.