Ed and Billy

William L. Elliott and Edmund R. Burke, 2002

Edmund R Burke, Ph.D.


A tribute to a wonderful friend, mentor, athlete, author, entrepreneur, scientist, and teacher.


Dr. Edmund R. Burke earned his doctorate at The Ohio State University. He earned his master’s and bachelor’s degrees at Ball State University. All of his degrees were centered in exercise science and physiology. While at Ball State, Dr. Burke was mentored by the eminent exercise physiologist, David L. Costill.


Dr. Burke also studied alongside other famous 20th century physiologists at respected institutions such as the Ohio State University Work Physiology Lab and the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden.


Much like his mentors and associates, Dr. Burke gained worldwide renown. Professionals in the fields of exercise physiology, nutrition and medicine are familiar with his exceptional work ethic and reputation as an author, scientist and educator. His 39 page curriculum vitae speaks for itself as it reveals some of his outstanding career accomplishments, including over 1,000 articles and many book chapters and books that he wrote and published in the areas of health, sport science and applied physiology. He served as Coordinator of Sports Sciences for the U. S. Cycling Team leading up to the Olympic Games in 1996 and was a staff member for the 1980 and 1984 Olympic Cycling Teams.


He was also a great athlete himself.


He enjoyed riding his road and mountain bikes and hiking in the mountains of Colorado. He competed in the Pikes Peak marathon, trekked into Everest Base camp, competed three times in the Leadville 100 mile mountain bike race, the Iditabike (a 100 mile bike race in February in Alaska) and the solo division in the 24 Hours of Moab.


Dr. Burke was a tenured professor and the director of the Exercise Science program at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS). This is where I came to know him as I was pursuing my master’s degree in exercise science. In addition to being one of my instructors at UCCS, he was also a member of my master’s thesis committee. Once I finished my master’s program and began working on my Ph.D., he gladly accepted an invitation to be a part of my Doctoral Committee.


Throughout my graduate education, Dr. Burke had a tremendous influence on my thinking. Perhaps more than anyone else, he helped me to develop my philosophy of applied physiology and health informatics. In my opinion, he was the greatest physiology and health informatician of all time. He was well known for his unique ability to effectively communicate scientific information to the layperson.


In Honor Of Dr. Burke...


Unfortunately, on November 7, 2002, Dr. Burke passed away. He was survived by his wonderful wife Kathleen Rand Burke. She played a central role in helping him to reach his crowning achievements, and continues to do everything she can to make his legacy known by as many people as possible.


While he is no longer here, he is still an important part of my ongoing education. His integral contributions to my doctoral program are a good example of this. He gave me the initial idea for my dissertation research project and for my internship. In this Internship, Dr. Burke and I co-developed and co-taught the first completely online Biology course (i.e., Biology 114: Introduction to Health and Exercise Science) at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.


Knowing him and having him as a mentor was truly one of my greatest honors. Dr. Edmund "Ed" R. Burke was a great physiologist, athlete, teacher, author, friend and mentor. I am privileged to have spent time working with him through my master's and a good part of my ongoing doctoral program. His influence on my career and my personal life is indelible. For as long as I live, he will be in my heart and in my work.