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Klabunde pens 2nd edition of cardiovascular
physiology textbook
Updated Cardiovascular Physiology Concepts
hits book stores

By Charlie Martinez
Oct. 31, 2011

The world was just waking up to the possibilities of the World Wide Web in 1998 when Richard E. Klabunde, Ph.D., began putting course materials online for his students.

“I’ve always been an early adopter of technology in my teaching and in my research,” said Klabunde, an Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM) associate professor of physiology who admits that he’s “kind of a computer geek.”

Those initial postings turned into, a unique, 300-page teaching website designed and launched by Klabunde himself the next year. The site was so successful that publisher Lippincott Williams and Wilkins approached him about writing a textbook based on it. The book, Cardiovascular Physiology Concepts, published in 2004, was officially integrated into the curricula of 23 institutions and sold more than 12,000 copies. In September, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins released a second edition of the book, also by Klabunde.

Like the first edition, the updated Cardiovascular Physiology Concepts is aimed at first- and second-year medical students, though nurses, physician assistants and other allied health students will find it useful. Even though the fundamental concepts explained in the book have not changed since the first publication, Klabunde said a new book was needed, in part, to reflect new understanding provided by emerging research at the molecular and cellular level.

Another reason had to do with the author’s own experiences as a medical educator. Klabunde created the more than 140 drawings and illustrations in the book’s first edition. He found himself using more simplified versions of those drawings in class so he revised or redrew more than half of the illustrations that appear in the new edition.

“I evolved in my own thinking and how I want to convey and explain concepts,” he said. “I wanted to include those changes in my new edition.”

Readers who pick up this new version can still access Klabunde’s website as well. They’ll find mini-lectures, tutorials and, coming soon, self-assessment quizzes that help increase student learning. The website now receives as many as 360,000 page views per month during the academic year, and students from all over the world email Klabunde thanking him.

“I just watched your eight-minute overview of the pressure/volume loop for the ventricles,” one first-year medical student wrote him. “Thanks for seeking to help confused students everywhere.” 

While he’s thrilled with the success of his website, writing textbooks is close to Klabunde’s heart. As an undergrad at Pepperdine University he was motivated by a textbook he used in class, Textbook of Medical Physiology by Arthur Guyton.

“I was very inspired that one man could write a whole physiology textbook,” he said, explaining that since then he always wanted to author one himself.

Writing textbooks also lets Klabunde draw from his rich multidisciplinary background. 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.

Today he’s already under way on his next textbook, which focuses on information from both his cardiovascular physiology site and his cardiovascular pharmacology site (, which he began in 2006. He expects the book to be released for use with the Kindle and iPad, technologies that will allow him to hyperlink terms and link to his websites.

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Last updated: 01/28/2016