About

The Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology builds on the basic sciences to link the study of physiology, anatomy, movement and human health.

Our faculty comprises anatomists, biochemists, biologists, biomechanists, biophysicists, engineers, ergonomists, kinesiologists, neuroscientists, physicians, and physiologists. We apply our knowledge to study human movement, structure and function throughout the life cycle, in health and disease, in benign and extreme environments, at work, at home, at sports and at play.

Not only are we one of the strongest Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology programs in Canada, but we also have a strong commitment to research. Our educational goals are to impart a sound knowledge base and to promote critical thinking, problem solving, research, technical and communication skills appropriate to the field, through our undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies programs.

Our Kinesiology major and honors programs are accredited with the Canadian Council of University Physical Education and Kinesiology Administrators (CCUPEKA), and recognized by the British Columbia Association of Kinesiologists. See www.ccupeka.ca and www.bcak.bc.ca for more information.

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Mission

The mission of the Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology is to advance the understanding of physiology, movement, and human health through fundamental and applied research, education, and service. We provide opportunities for outstanding learning, world-class research, and active engagement with the community, in order to improve human health.

Vision

Faculty members and students will advance understanding of, and make a positive impact on, a broad range of health challenges.

Our core values and ideologies:

  • Excellence and innovation in teaching and research
  • Leadership within our academic disciplines
  • Active engagement with our community
  • Knowledge translation
  • Ethical and responsible academic and global citizens
  • Inspirational mentorship to all levels of students and trainees

Our core purpose is to advance the understanding of physiology and human health through fundamental and applied research, education, and service.

The Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology remains central to the University's mission by providing unparalleled excellence in education and research in the area of individual human health and movement, by attracting and engaging a high number of student FTEs, and by attracting a relatively high proportion of extramural funding and international recognition for high quality research. Achieving the above goals will help ensure SFU achieves its Academic Vision, Outcomes 2013, and VPA Goals and the Objectives of initiating new programming the area of health, supporting a distinctive program at each campus, maintaining faculty renewal, achieving enrollment targets, and enhancing community partnerships.

Goals of the Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology

Our goals within this mission are to:

  • provide high quality undergraduate and graduate education
  • increase opportunities for life long learning through both credit and non-credit programs
  • extend the frontiers of fundamental knowledge
  • generate expertise of practical value
  • make the resulting benefits available to society.

The Central Theme of the Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology

The Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology builds on the basic sciences to link the study of movement, physiology and health with the broad scope of human endeavour.

Our faculty comprises anatomists, biochemists, biologists, biomechanists, biophysicists, engineers, ergonomists, kinesiologists, neuroscientists, physicians, and physiologists. We apply our knowledge to study human movement, structure and function throughout the life cycle, in health and disease, in benign and extreme environments, at work, at home, at sports and at play.

Our educational goals are to impart a sound knowledge base and to promote critical thinking, problem solving, research, technical and communication skills appropriate to the field, through our undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies programs.

Undergraduate Teaching

We offer cross disciplinary undergraduate programs specializing in the following complementary areas:

  • human movement
  • physiological sciences
  • ergonomics/human factors
  • health promotion and education

Each of these areas includes a common core of concepts and courses covering basic anatomy, physiology, and prerequisite knowledge from the basic biological, chemical, physical and mathematical sciences fundamental to understanding human structure and function. Graduates are able to:

  • meet the needs of the community for specialists in health, human function and movement
  • gain appropriate employment in their fields
  • understand and apply the growing body of relevant knowledge
  • continue their education in medical, professional, or graduate programs

In delivering these programs we take advantage of advances in technology which support classroom, laboratory and distance education. Our co-op program provides students with opportunities to apply their academic experience within industrial and commercial contexts and provides employers with opportunities to evaluate students before they graduate.

Graduate Teaching

Our graduate program offers students an education of the highest quality, consistency and relevance to specialized research and professional expertise. To produce graduates capable of contributing to and communicating a growing body of knowledge, we:

  • seek excellent students and support them appropriately
  • provide specialized instruction and individual supervision
  • engage students in forefront research and instruct them in advanced experimental techniques
  • respond to specific graduate educational needs of the community.

Research

We use multidisciplinary approaches to investigate fundamental properties of human structure and function that relate to health, movement and physiology.

Within the context of the Department Mission, we undertake specific, individual and collaborative research projects. Our areas of research include:

  • adaptation to extreme environments
  • aging
  • cancer prevention
  • human machine interactions
  • physical performance
  • rehabilitation
  • risk assessment

Our research projects attract external grant and contract support locally, nationally and internationally from government agencies and from the private sector.

Service

We serve the community through our graduates, the knowledge we generate and disseminate, consulting, and widespread opportunities for education. We reach large sectors of the community through distance education, continuing studies credit and non credit programs and direct access to our human performance testing laboratories at Harbour Centre.

Through our community outreach programs:

  • we provide opportunities for upgrading personal knowledge and marketable skills through lifetime continuing education
  • we provide expertise in health education, health promotion, ergonomics, geriatrics
  • we participate in community health promotion programs

Constitution

Please click here to view the Constitution of the Department.

Facilities

The Environmental Medicine and Physiology Unit

The Environmental Medicine Physiology Unit was installed during 1981, and began research operations in 1982. The main features of the EMPU are an altitude and diving chamber complex, life support and environmental control system capable of simulating altitudes of up to 33,530 meters and depths of 300 meters; a climatic chamber capable of simulating temperatures of -30°C to +50°C and hot and cold immersion tanks (+2°C to +50°C). The output of the unit is oriented towards basic research but mission oriented work in cooperation with industry has also been completed under grants and contracts to individual users. The facility is unique in Western Canada with its diving, altitude and thermal capabilities.

Animal Care Facilities

SFU has a centralized University Animal Care Facility. The facility is run by a director in consultation with a university-wide Animal Care Committee. The use and care of animals conforms to guidelines specified by NSERC and the Canadian Council on Animal Care. The Department also has access to the Biological Sciences aquatic research facilities. On campus, there exists holding facilities for freshwater organisms including large salmonids and a small sea water reservoir.

British Columbia Cancer Research Centre

Two faculty members plus two adjunct faculty members conduct a portion of their research at the B.C. Cancer Research Centre. This provides the opportunity for some kinesiology graduate students to do their research at this facility. Research topics pursued there include biochemical, cytological and epidemiological identification of genetic, lifestyle and chemical factors which influence the risk of cancer and the development of strategies to decrease risk.

Computing Facilities

In the distributed computing environment at Simon Fraser University, SFULAN (the high-speed, campus-wide, fibreoptic network) allows access to Unix, PC, and Macintosh workstations, and Unix, Novell, and NT fileservers, printservers, webservers and printers. This network also allows users to communicate electronically with computing facilities across the country and world. Two Silicon Graphics computer servers are provided for large scale computing, three additional Silicon Graphics machines and an IBM RS6000 are available for researchers, and two Sun 470's for instructional computing. Academic Computing Services and the Faculty of Applied Sciences provides consultative help on a wide variety of computer applications, including statistics, numerical analysis, econometrics, graphics, data handling.

The Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology has made a major commitment to providing computing facilities to our graduate students. Students are allowed free access to the Department's shared computer facilities in the graduate student computing lab. Mac and PC based platforms are supported and a number of image manipulation software packages are available. In addition, most research labs are also equipped with the latest in computer technology for the acquisition, analysis and presentation of data.