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Dave M. Burnett, Ph.D., RRT

David Burnett portrait
Associate Dean, Community Engagement and Workforce Initiatives, School of Health Professions

Associate Professor, Respiratory Care and Diagnostic Science

Professional Background

Having worked clinically as a registered respiratory therapist, Dave Burnett, Ph.D., RRT, has more than 25 years of experience in hospital, physician office and rehabilitative settings. An associate professor, Burnett joined the school's faculty in 2012 and served as department chair during 2013-2023.

In June 2023, Burnett was appointed associate dean for community engagement and workforce initiatives in the School of Health Professions. He previously served 2020-2023, as associate dean for faculty practice and community partnership.

Academic Background
Burnett's undergraduate training was in respiratory therapy and health care management. He received his master’s degree in exercise physiology from the University of Central Missouri and his doctorate in rehabilitation science from the University of Kansas.

Education and Training
  • Other, Respiratory Therapy , Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kansas
  • BA, Health Care Management , Ottawa University , Ottawa, Kansas
  • MS, Exercise Science (Kinesiology) , University of Central Missouri , Warrensburg, Missouri
  • PhD, Rehabilitation Sciences , University of Kansas Medical Center
Professional Affiliations
  • American Association of Respiratory Care , Education/Research Committee, Member, 2012 - Present
  • Coalition of Bachelor’s and Graduate Respiratory Therapy Education, Member, 2012 - Present



Burnett's research is focused on preventing severity of primary disease processes and their potential co-morbid conditions. In particular, one of his projects assess the impact interventions, including exercise and nutrition, have on multiple organ systems in patients with cystic fibrosis.

Since improved cardiopulmonary fitness is associated with increased survival, he aims to measure the impact of improved pulmonary, cardiac, and skeletal muscle function in those suffering from the disease. In addition, Burnett partners with asthma stakeholders including physicians, school nurses, telehealth providers, and hospitals to help improve the health outcomes of asthma patients and reduce the financial burden chronic respiratory conditions can have when symptoms are not managed properly by patients.

In addition, he serves as Co-PI on a telehealth pulmonary rehabilitation intervention for those living with COPD.