Health Exercise and Aging Lab

HEAL logoThe major goal of ongoing research in the Health Exercise and Aging Lab (HEAL) is to improve the health and wellness of people with chronic disease or disability.

Specifically, scientists in this lab are interested in studying the effect of activity and sedentary behavior interventions in people with neurologic conditions such as diabetic neuropathy and stroke.

HEAL team photo

Above: the HEAL team in the Hemenway Life Sciences Building at KU Medical Center (from left): Dr. Kluding, Dr. Rucker, and Jeff Hoover (study coordinator), along with Ph.D. students Shaima Alothman, Mohammed Alshehri, and Aqeel Alenazi.

The lab encompasses approximately 4,000 square feet on the ground floor of the Hemenway Life Science Innovation Center and includes a large waiting area, reception desk, faculty and research associate offices, and a conference room.

The three labs within this space are designed to assess body composition, muscle strength and endurance, and aerobic fitness. Additionally, there is a large exercise intervention room furnished with LifeFitness aerobic equipment and a resistance training circuit.

PubMed (graphic)

See Kluding's publications on PubMed


Lab Director

photo of Patricia Kluding

Patricia M. Kluding, PT, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair

KU Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science

Lab Co-Director

photo of Jason Rucker

Jason Rucker, PT, Ph.D.
Clinical Assistant Professor

KU Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science


Connect with me on LinkedIn Google Scholar logo Academia.edu -- who's researching what

Current Doctoral Students

Shaima Alothman (rehabilitation science)
Aqeel Alenazi (rehabilitation science)
Mohammed Alshehri (rehabilitation science)

Graduates of HEAL

Sandra Billinger, PT, Ph.D. (2008)
Benjamin Tseng, Ph.D. (2009)
Stephen Jernigan, PT, Ph.D. (2011)
Dave Burnett, Ph.D. (2013)
Ali Bani-Ahmed, PT, Ph.D. (2013)
Rupali Rupali Singh, PT, Ph.D. (2013)
Jason Rucker, PT, Ph.D. (2014)
Linda D'Silva (2016)

See what graduates of HEAL are doing


Selected Current and Recent Projects

Activity for Diabetic Polyneuropathy: The ADAPT study

Pioneers: Community Research Recruitment Registry (Kluding PI)

Sedentary Lifestyle in Diabetes (Kluding PI)

Last modified: Aug 28, 2017

Participate in a Study

Can Exercise and Diet Improve Nerves in the Legs of People with Diabetes?
This study looks at the change in nerve fibers in the skin of people in a typical diet and exercise counseling program compared to those in a more intense diet and exercise program. Learn more

Sedentary Behavior and Health
The purpose of this study is to understand the relationship between sitting time and health measures. Learn more


Activities and Updates

Kluding named chair of Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science

The journal Physical Therapy posted an author interview featuring Kluding and highlighting her research on exercise in people with diabetic neuropathy. Listen to the podcast.

Kluding presented part of an educational symposium on exercise and diabetic complications at the American Diabetes Association's 77th Scientific Sessions in San Diego, June 9-13, 2017. She also co-presented a poster, "Association of Distal Thigh Nerve Density on Balance Function in Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy." 

Led by captain  Steve Jernigan, Ph.D., PT, and with help from team members including several from HEAL, the "Holy Walkamolies" won a five-week physical activity challenge in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science. Photos


HEAL is part of the Georgia Holland Research Laboratory

ID=x16758