Fall 2019 - BPK 412 D100

Molecular Cardiac Physiology (3)

Class Number: 5124

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 3 – Dec 2, 2019: Tue, Thu, 9:30–10:20 a.m.

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 11, 2019
    Wed, 8:30–11:30 a.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    BPK 305.



This course entails a detailed analysis of the molecular and cellular basis of cardiac function. The material will be derived from myriad disciplines including: structure (histology and ultrastructure, molecular), biophysics, biomechanics, physiology, electrophysiology, biochemistry and molecular biology. A particular emphasis will be placed on the mechanisms by which inherited arrhythmias and cardiomyopathies manifest as a pathological phenotype.


The course presents a detailed analysis of the mechanistic basis of cardiac function. The material will be derived from a variety of disciplines including anatomy (histology and ultrastructure), biomechanics, physiology, electrophysiology, biochemistry and molecular biology. There is an an emphasis on cardiac contractile function, ion channels, channelopathies, cardiac arrhythmias and cardiomyopathies and the use of human induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CM) in their diagnosis and treatment. Course structure: two hours of lecture and one hour tutorial per week.

Cardiac Structure

  • Anatomy, Histology and Ultrastructure

Cardiac Excitation
  • Electrophysiology, Channelopathies, Cardiac arrhythmias and ECG
  • Excitation-contraction coupling

Cardiac Contraction
  • Biomechanics of cardiac contraction; Cardiac contractile proteins
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathies

Cardiac Development


  • Tutorial Presentation (debate) 20%
  • Paper 20%
  • Midterm 20%
  • Final 40%


The tutorial serves several purposes. First, it allows for the communication of new material that is best presented to a smaller audience. Second, questions and problems can be explored in greater detail. Third, this is a forum for formal debates on controversial issues in the field.





While there is no required text, the following texts will be on reserve in the library:

Excitation-contraction coupling and cardiac contractile force QP 113.2 B47 2001
D.M. Bers, Kluwer Scientific Press (2001) ISBN: 0-7923-7158-5

Ion channels of excitable membranes (3rd Edition) QH 603 I54 H54 2001
Bertil Hille, Sinauer Associates (2001) ISBN: 0-8789-3321-2

Cardiac Electrophysiology: From Cell to Bedside (6th Edition)
D. Zipes and J. Jaliffe, Saunders (2014) ISBN: 978-1-4557-2856-5
This e-book is available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/book/9781455728565

Department Undergraduate Notes:

It is the responsibility of the student to keep their BPK course outlines if they plan on furthering their education.

Missed Exam:

Students who miss examinations due to exceptional circumstances (such as serious illness or compassionate reasons) are required to obtain a physician's certificate, whereby the physician states that you were unable to write your midterm or final on the set date due to a medical condition beyond your control, or other supporting documents in order to obtain consideration in the course. Such documents must be filed with the Department Chair (via the Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology office) or Registrar within four calendar days of the date on which the examination was to have been written. Exceptional circumstances must be approved by the Undergraduate Program Committee in order for a student to receive consideration. Students must check the examination schedule when making course selections. Students are reminded that final examinations may be scheduled at any time during the examination period and that students should avoid making travel or employment arrangements for this period. In the event of a missed midterm or final examination the instructors reserve the right to give an oral examination of the material. Approximate midterm dates are provided, but may be subject to change.

BPK Grading Policy

For more information on the department's grading policy & guidelines go to:  

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