Spring 2022 - HSCI 211 E100

Perspectives on Cancer, Cardiovascular, and Metabolic Diseases (3)

Class Number: 5780

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 4:30 PM – 7:20 PM
    SSCC 9001, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    HSCI 100 or BISC 101, HSCI 130, all with a minimum grade of C-.



An interdisciplinary overview of the major non-communicable diseases - cancers, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases - from a public health perspective. Review of biological mechanisms, risk factors, historical and cultural contexts, and global distribution.


COURSE DESCRIPTION: In this course, we will examine cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases from a range of perspectives (biology, pathology, epidemiology, behaviour, societal factors, policy, public health).

TOPICS: The course will be divided into four sections – the first section will focus on methodologies, the second on cardiovascular health and disease; the third shorter section on obesity and diabetes, and the final section on cancer. In each section, we will examine how a range of perspectives can be applied to help understand the problems of cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

COURSE FORMAT: Class instruction will be predominantly in person supplemented with asynchronous online learning and engagement. Weeks 1, 2, 3, 6 (midterm), 7 and 8 will be held 4:30 to 7:30 pm (the full three hours). The other lectures will be held 4:30 to 6:30 pm and supplemented with an asynchronous podcast relevant to the week’s topic.

HSCI 130, and HSCI 100 or BISC 101, all with a minimum grade of C- or the permission of the instructor.


Upon completion of the course, students will:
• be able to locate material addressing cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases from a range of sources and academic disciplines;
• be able to describe national and global patterns of cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases;
• know the basic pathogenesis of the major cancers and cardiovascular and metabolic diseases;
• understand factors that influence risk and potential mechanisms involved in disease causality;
• demonstrate awareness of current issues and challenges related to chronic disease prevention and treatment at the population level;
• become familiar with different perspectives from which to assess and approach the problems of chronic disease; and
• become familiar with how knowledge from varying perspectives can be applied to improve population health outcomes related to cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic disease.


  • Tutorial attendance/participation 8%
  • Tutorial presentation 10%
  • Mid-term 20%
  • Paper 20%
  • Final examination (cumulative) 30%
  • Podcast reflection/quiz 12%


The instructor may make changes to the syllabus if necessary, within Faculty/University regulations.



Required Textbooks: None

Readings available electronically. These can be found in the Syllabus posted on the course Canvas site (see http://www.sfu.ca/canvas.html).

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.