Richard Klabunde, Ph.D.

Professor of Physiology


Dr. Klabunde

Dr. Klabunde joined Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2012 as a Professor of Physiology. Throughout his career of more than three decades, he has specialized in teaching cardiovascular physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacology.

Dr. Klabunde earned a B.S. degree in Biology from Pepperdine University in 1970, then completed his Ph.D. in Physiology at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in 1975.  His dissertation research concerned the regulation of microcirculatory blood flow in skeletal muscle.  This was followed by a postdoctoral position at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine where he trained in biochemical pharmacology. 

In 1978, he joined the Department of Physiology, West Virginia University College of Medicine where he taught medical students and continued his work on mechanisms of local blood flow regulation in skeletal muscle.  He left West Virginia in 1985 to become a Senior Cardiovascular Group Leader in the Department of Pharmacology at Abbott Laboratories where he conducted extensive in vivo and in vitro research on new drugs.  During that time, he also taught cardiovascular physiology and pharmacology at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford, and at the Chicago Medical School. 

He left Abbott in 1993 to become a Senior Research Scientist and later the Director of the Deborah Research Institute in New Jersey.  While in New Jersey, he also taught medical students at the University of Medicine and Dentistry, New Jersey (UMDNJ, New Brunswick) and at UMDNJ School of Osteopathic Medicine in Stratford. 

In 1998, Dr. Klabunde became an Associate Professor of Physiology at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, where he conducted microvascular and cardiac research, directed the cardiovascular course, and served four years as the Director of the Clinical Presentation Continuum Curriculum.
Following the success of his teaching websites ( and, Dr. Klabunde published a textbook, Cardiovascular Physiology Concepts (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2004 and 2011). In 2012, Dr. Klabunde was awarded the highest teaching award from the American Physiological Society – the Arthur C. Guyton Physiology Educator of the Year Award.

Clinical/Research Interests

During the early career of Dr. Klabunde (1970-1985), his research focused on metabolism-linked regulation of blood flow in skeletal muscle, particularly on the role of oxygen and adenosine. Over the next 22 years, he studied the mechanisms of action of various cardiovascular drugs in animal models of heart failure and septic shock, the efficacy of different types of thrombolytic agents, and the mechanisms by which nitric oxide regulates cardiac contractile function and microcirculatory function. Most of the cardiac work was performed using isolated, Langendorff-perfused rat and mouse hearts. The last few years of his research focused on how diabetes and obesity affect nitric oxide, endothelin and adrenergic control of the coronary circulation.

Dr. Klabunde ended his laboratory research a few years ago to concentrate on other scholarly activities, including writing textbooks, managing the content of teaching websites, and serving as a consultant for cardiovascular research and teaching.


Representative Publications:

1.  Klabunde, RE.  Normal and Abnormal Blood Pressure (Physiology, Pathophysiology and Treatment). Amazon Kindle book, 2013.

2.  Klabunde, RE.  Cardiovascular Physiology Concepts. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins/Baltimore, 2005 (1st edition) and 2012 (2nd edition). A textbook for medical and allied health science students.

3.  Klabunde, RE.  Cardiovascular Physiology Concepts, (1999-2014) and Cardiovascular Pharmacology Concepts, (2006-2014). 

4.  RE Klabunde. Teaching physiology to 21st century medical students. The Physiologist 56:1-4, 2013.

5.  SB Bender and RE Klabunde.  Altered role of smooth muscle endothelin receptors in coronary endothelin-1 and alpha-1-adrenoceptor-medicated vasoconstriction in type 2 diabetes.  Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 293:H2281-2288, 2007.

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