Richard Clendaniel, PT, PhD, FAPTA

Director of Admissions; Assistant Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery, Core Faculty
Interprofessional Education and Care Building (IPE)

Dr. Clendaniel is a clinical scientist, educator, clinician, and mentor in the DPT program. His training and scientific practice have made him a recognized expert in the rehabilitation of individuals with vestibular disorders.

He is an invited lecturer nationally and internationally on the evaluation and management of people with dizziness. He has authored numerous papers and book chapters on vestibular system plasticity and treatment. He is the co-editor of a major textbook on vestibular rehabilitation.

In addition to teaching and research, he maintains an active clinical practice in treating individuals with dizziness and imbalance. In addition to his faculty position within the DPT program at Duke, he has an adjunct faculty appointment and teaches in the Doctor of Audiology program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


  • Postdoctoral fellow, Johns Hopkins University, 1993

  • PhD, Psychology, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1991

  • MS, Physical Therapy, The University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1982

  • BA, Biology, University of Vermont, 1978


Evaluation and management of individuals with vestibular system disorders


Current lab research is designed to address questions about vestibular system physiology and plasticity as a model of motor learning as well as for its relevance to the management and rehabilitation of individuals with vestibular disorders. Projects are designed to:

  • Identify the mechanisms of recovery following unilateral vestibular loss

  • Identify the best treatment approach for patients with vestibular disorders, and

  • Determine the test metrics for currently used clinical evaluation tools

In addition, lab work is expanding to evaluate tests used in the analysis of individuals with cervical spine disorders, with a primary focus on cervico-genic dizziness.

Recent publications

Awards and honors

  • Associate editor for the Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy 

  • Associate editor for the Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy

  • Board of Trustees member for the Foundation for Physical Therapy

  • The University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Physical Therapy Alumni Leadership Award

  • The University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Health Profession, "Fab-40" Outstanding Alumni Award, 2009