March 20, 2017
By Natalie Lutz, Director of Communications
The University of Kansas School of Health Professions announced Patricia Kluding, Ph.D., PT, as the new chair of the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, effective March 16. Kluding has served as interim chair of the department since June 2015.
"We are pleased that Dr. Kluding will continue leading our Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science in an official capacity," said Abiodun Akinwuntan, Ph.D., PT, MPH, MBA, dean of the School of Health Professions. "She has demonstrated significant leadership skills while serving in an interim role, and I look forward to her advancing an already strong department even further."
In addition to her role as interim chair, Kluding is an associate professor of physical therapy and rehabilitation sciences and directs the Health, Exercise and Aging Lab (HEAL), which develops clinical research programs focused on improving the health and wellness of people with chronic disease or disability. She also teaches neurologic rehabilitation courses in the physical therapy doctoral program and collaborates with researchers in the KU departments of Neurology, Anatomy and Cell Biology, Endocrinology, and Biostatistics. She previously served as interim associate dean for research in the School of Health Professions.
A physical therapist since 1992, Kluding has a clinical focus in neurological rehabilitation. She joined the faculty at the University of Kansas Medical Center in 2003 after serving as an assistant professor at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, now Rutgers University.
She has published 44 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals, has received internal and external research support, and serves as the primary mentor for several doctoral students working on dissertation research in the rehabilitation science program. She also currently serves as associate director of the Clinical and Translational Science Unit in the new state-of-the-art Clinical Research Center facility and has a leadership role in the development of the Pioneers Community Research Participant Registry.
"The University of Kansas Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science Department has a strong, rich history of excellence in physical therapy education and research," Kluding said. "It is an honor to be selected to lead our faculty team forward into the future. I am grateful for the mentorship that I've received and to the entire faculty and staff for their support through this transition."
Kluding was honored as the KU School of Allied Health Stata Norton Distinguished Teacher in 2010, and received the Faculty Investigator Award from KU Medical Center in 2013 and the Honorary Alumni Award for the School of Health Professions in 2014. She earned an undergraduate degree in biology from Iowa State University and a master's degree in physical therapy from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She earned a doctorate from Seton Hall University in 2003.
About the University of Kansas School of Health Professions:
The School of Health Professions was officially established in 1974 as the School of Allied Health when several academic health care programs at KU Medical Center were organized under a single school for the first time. Today internationally renowned faculty prepare students for a rewarding career in clinical care, research or academia. Several of the school's graduate programs are nationally recognized by U.S. News & World Report. The school offers programs ranging from undergraduate to advanced graduate study, including several doctorate programs. In addition, certificate and post-professional programs are available to students wishing to advance their careers.
About the University of Kansas Medical Center: The University of Kansas Medical Center's mission is to educate exceptional health care professionals through a full range of undergraduate, graduate, professional, postdoctoral and continuing education programs in the schools of Medicine, Nursing and Health Professions. KU Medical Center also advances the health sciences through world-class research programs; provides compassionate and state-of-the-art patient care in an academic medical center environment; and works with communities in each Kansas county to improve the health of Kansans.