OU-HCOM physiology professor named educator of the
Ohio – May 10, 2012) Richard Klabunde, Ph.D.,
associate professor of physiology at the Ohio University Heritage
College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM), received the 2012 Arthur
C. Guyton Physiology Educator of the Year award from the American
Physiological Society (APS).
The award recognizes full-time faculty members of an
accredited college or university and member of the APS who excels in
classroom teaching, is committed to the improvement of physiology
teaching, and contributes to physiology education at the local,
national and international levels.
In an interesting twist of fate, Guyton authored a
textbook, Textbook of Medical Physiology, which had a major
impact on Klabunde’s decision in 1968 as an undergraduate physiology
student to pursue a Ph.D. in the field.
“It was also Dr. Guyton’s example as a superb teacher
and communicator that inspired (Klabunde) in his career to someday
write a physiology textbook that reflected his love for
cardiovascular physiology,” said Joe P. Granger, Ph.D., president of
the APS, while presenting the award at the society’s annual meeting
held last month.
During his presentation of the award to Klabunde,
Granger noted his contributions to physiology and the impact he has
made upon students.
“His contribution to physiology education is quite
expansive as it includes innovative technology coupled with engaging
teaching methods such as debates and case-based instruction,”
Granger said. “Many students commented about his extraordinary
ability to simplify complex physiology concepts in a relevant
Klabunde was nominated for the award by Thad Wilson,
Ph.D., associate professor of physiology at OU-HCOM, with support
from several current and former students and OU-HCOM Dean Jack
“I work directly with Richard Klabunde and have not
met a more committed and effective teacher,” Wilson said. “I have
personally spoken with other colleagues, students and even the Dean
of our medical school about this Guyton Educator of the Year award
nomination and all strongly support it.”
“To have such strong support from students, faculty
and the administration is telling of Richard’s strengths as a
teacher and as a person,” Wilson said.
In his nomination letter, Wilson cited several
reasons for why Klabunde deserved the honor, including his:
contribution to physiology education by authoring
the textbook, Cardiovascular Physiology Concepts,
contribution to the field of physiology through
innovative and interactive on-line teaching materials,
educational scholarship and mentorship at APS
efforts at curriculum development and leadership
An early user of the internet to supplement his
teaching, Klabunde began posting course materials on-line in 1998.
Those initial postings turned into a website,
a 300-page teaching website that became the basis of his textbook,
Cardiovascular Physiology Concepts, published by Lippincott
Williams & Wilkins in 2004 with a second edition issued last year.
Although aimed at first- and second-year medical students, nurses,
physician assistants and other allied health students find the book
beneficial. Klabunde created more than 140 drawings and
illustrations in the book’s first edition, but revised or redrew
more simplified versions of more than 70 of those in the newest
edition. Klabunde also created a second website in 2006,
“When I was the medical physiology course director at
another institution, these websites were frequently used by my
year-one medical students to expand the class topics and
understanding,” Wilson said. The two websites receive on average 2.5
million hits and 180,000 unique visitors per month, Wilson noted.
In addition to his textbook and websites, Klabunde
has published more than 50 research articles and held several
teaching and lecturer positions.
Before coming to OHIO, he taught at six different medical schools,
worked for a pharmaceutical company as a senior cardiovascular
researcher and directed cardiovascular research connected with
Deborah Heart and Lung Center in New Jersey.
Besides his teaching
duties at OU-HCOM since joining the faculty in 1998, he served as
of the Clinical Presentation Continuum curriculum at
the college from 2007 until recently. In 2007, he served as
president of the Ohio Chapter of the APS.
Klabunde earned a Bachelor of Science degree in
biology from Pepperdine University in 1970, a Ph.D. in physiology
from the University of Arizona College of Medicine in 1975, and
conducted postdoctoral training in pharmacology at the University of
California at San Diego School of Medicine from 1976 to 1978.