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Patricia M. Kluding, Ph.D., PT

Patricia Kluding portrait
Department Chair, Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation Science, and Athletic Training

Professional Background

Patricia Kluding, Ph.D., PT, is a professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation Science, and Athletic Training. A physical therapist since 1992, Kluding's clinical practice focus is in neurological rehabilitation.

She has held a number of leadership roles as well. Beginning in summer 2015, she served as interim department chair and in March 2017 was appointed permanent chair. She has also served as the school's interim dean for research.

Currently teaching neurologic rehabilitation courses in the physical therapy program, Kluding is also actively involved in the profession outside the university, including with the American Physical Therapy Association.

Kluding has received recognition for her skills as an educator, including the Stata Norton Distinguished Teaching Award for the School of Health Professions (2010). She also received the Faculty Investigator Award (2013) and the Honorary Alumni Award for the School of Health Professions (2014) for her accomplishments. She collaborates with researchers in the KU Department of Neurology, Anatomy and Cell Biology, Endocrinology, and Biostatistics.

Academic Background
Kluding began her academic career by earning a bachelor's in biology from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. She continued her education at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and Rutgers University in Camden, N.J., where she earned her master's in physical therapy.

After working for a number of years as a physical therapist, Kluding enrolled in the health doctoral program (movement science track) at Seton Hall University. After earning her doctorate in 2003, she joined the faculty at the University of Kansas.

Education and Training
  • PhD, Health Science, Seton Hall University , South Orange, New Jersey
  • MS, Physical Therapy , Rutgers University , Camden, New Jersey
  • BS, Biology, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa



Kluding directs the Health, Exercise, and Aging Lab (HEAL). Part of the Georgia Holland Research Laboratory at KU Medical Center, the lab develops clinical research programs focused on improving the health and wellness of people with chronic disease or disability. Learn more about HEAL.

Since her early involvement as director of the exercise physiology lab of the General Clinical Research Center, Kluding has had a leadership role in the development of clinical research resources on the KU Medical Center campus. She has published more than 30 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 doctoral degree 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. During the past year, she has taken responsibility for development of the Pioneers Community Research Participant Registry. This initiative will match people who are interested in participating in research with appropriate research studies via a new website,

Current Research and Grants
  • Frontiers: The Heartland Institute for Clinical and Translational Research; Clinical and Translational Science Award, NIH, Other Significant Contributor