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Patricia M. Kluding, Ph.D., PT

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

Professor, 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 been chair of the department since 2017, and was interim department chair 2015-2017. She completed the Education Leadership Institute Fellowship program through the American Physical Therapy Association (2019). Currently teaching neurologic rehabilitation courses in the physical therapy program, Kluding continues to be 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 University of Kansas Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award (2021) and the Stata Norton Distinguished Teaching Award for the School of Health Professions (2010). She has also received research awards including the Jack Walker Award for Novel and Innovative Research from the American Physical Therapy Association (2018) and the Faculty Investigator Award from KU Medical Center (2013). She was recognized with the Honorary Alumni Award for the School of Health Professions (2014) for her accomplishments.
Kluding values diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice in her leadership, teaching, research and service activities.

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. Her research is informed by her clinical experience as a physical therapist focused on increasing activity and reducing sedentary behavior in people with stroke, diabetes, diabetic peripheral neuropathy and other chronic disabling conditions.

Since her early involvement with the development of what is now the Frontiers Clinical and Translational Science Institute, Kluding has had a leadership role in the development of clinical research resources on the KU Medical Center campus. She has published more than 50 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and has received internal and external research support. She has served as the primary dissertation mentor for more than 10 doctoral students in the rehabilitation science doctoral degree program and has supervised research practicums for over 40 physical therapy and medical students in her lab. She strives to provide an inclusive and supportive environment for all students and members of her lab team.