Cardiovascular Physiology Group

The cardiovascular physiology group approaches cardiovascular function and dysfunction from an integrative perspective, encompassing molecular to systems physiology.

Within this group is the Molecular Cardiac Physiology Group (http://www.sfu.ca/mcpg/), made up of three faculty from Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology (T. Claydon, Ruben, Tibbits) and two from the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry (Paetzel, Young) who study the molecular and cellular mechanisms of cardiac excitation and excitation-contraction coupling. The MCPG are housed in a newly built large and well-equipped common laboratory space. Their work focuses on congenital heart diseases such as dysfunction of cardiac ion channels (channelopathies) and contractile proteins (cardiomyopathies), both of which can result in arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death.

This strong research focus has close ties with systems level physiology research (V. Claydon) in areas such as autonomic cardiovascular control, the effects and mechanisms of autonomic dysfunction (e.g. spinal cord injury and chronic exposure to hypoxia), cardiac arrhythmia, and syncope.

This integrative "bench-to-bedside" approach to the study of cardiovascular physiology and pathophysiology provides unique insight into cardiovascular control in health and disease.

The cardiovascular physiology group is actively and enthusiastically involved in both research and teaching. The members of this group are well funded (CIHR, NSERC, Heart and Stroke Foundation, CFI, CRC) and hold a number of prestigious salary awards and chairs: CRC (Tibbits); MSFHR (T. Claydon); Heart and Stroke Foundation (T. Claydon, V. Claydon) and the Burnaby Mountain Chair (Ruben). This provides an excellent training environment for the students within these laboratories, which currently includes 20 undergraduates, 7 M.Sc., 5 Ph.D., 4 Postdoctoral Fellows and 6 Research Associates, as well as a visiting scientist. The vision of the group is to continue to grow as a centre of excellence for cardiovascular research and teaching.

Group Members

Facilities and Equipment

The cardiovascular physiology lab includes a state-of-the-art facility for autonomic function testing and cardiovascular control. This includes 12 lead ECG monitoring, non-invasive beat-to-beat blood pressure monitoring, ultrasonography, a combined orthostatic stress testing (tilt testing) and lower body negative pressure chamber, carotid baroreceptor testing, exercise testing modalities, and custom software for determining cardiovascular variability. The MCPG includes electrophysiology suites specifically customized for cut-open oocyte clamp, and voltage clamp flourimetry, as well as numerous two electrode and patch clamp set ups. Other facilities within the group include confocal microscopy, functional echocardiography, and working heart and Langendorf-perfused heart systems.

Graduate and Post-doctoral Positions Available Within the Group

Opportunities are available within the group at both the graduate and post-doctoral level. See here for positions currently being advertised.