Fall 2020 - BPK 420 D100

Selected Topics in Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology I (3)

Cell & Molecular Vascular Physiology

Class Number: 6176

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, We 2:30 PM – 3:20 PM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 19, 2020
    7:00 PM – 10:00 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    To be announced in the Undergraduate Schedule of Classes and Examinations found at go.sfu.ca.



Selected topics in areas not currently offered as formal courses within the undergraduate course offerings in the Department of Biomedical Physiology and Kinesiology. The topics in this course will vary from term to term, depending on faculty availability and student interest.


This course deals with a variety of topics related to vascular physiology as it related to human health and with a focus on cellular signaling mechanism and the ability of students to engage with primary literature.  

This course will be taught using online/distance learning. Teaching will incorporate a blend of synchronous and asynchronous learning. Lectures will be offered by a mix of synchronous lectures that will be recorded and pre-recorded lectures that will be followed by Q&A and discussion in the scheduled lecture time slot.  Tutorials will be conducted via synchronous, on-line discussions.  



Lecture 01 Introduction, review of vessel structure, mechanics and basic physics of the vasculature.
Lecture 02 Myofilaments & smooth muscle plasticity/stretch adaptation
Lecture 03 Angiogenesis & Vasculogenesis
Lecture 04 Calcium-dependent and calcium-independent regulation of smooth muscle contraction
Lecture 05 Endothelial regulation of tone
Lecture 06 Mitochondrial dysfunction in hypertension
Lecture 07 Mid-term exam & preparation for research projects / presentations
Lecture 08 Extracellular matrix & Mechanotransduction
Lecture 09 Neurogenic vasoregulation
Lecture 10 Autoregulation & vasomotion
Lecture 11 Vascular remodelling
Lecture 12 Current topics in vascular medicine: Diabetes & Blood pressure Lecture
13 Current topics in vascular medicine: Obesity & Blood pressure


By the end of the semester students will be able to...

• relate key concepts of vascular physiology and cell biology to a variety of vascular diseases

• describe signalling pathways that regulate majors functions of each cell type in the vascular wall and interactions between different cell types

• explain experimental methods to assess vascular function in health and disease

• communicate an analysis of current issues in vascular (patho)physiology using written and oral methods appropriate for scientific discourse.

• assess value of cardiovascular research to self and society



  GRADING:                                         Assignment %

Quizzes                                                5
Participation in lectures & tutorials         5
Written analyses of assigned readings   15
Research project                                  20
Mid-term exam                                    25
Final exam                                          30

COMMUNICATIONS: (email / phone) The use of email to communicate with the instructor and/or teaching assistants is welcome and encouraged. Emails sent on a business day will usually be responded to within 48 hours if not on the next business day. For example, an email sent at the end of the day on Friday may not be returned until Monday or shortly after. Please use emails respectfully and recognize that all emails are a permanent record. In some instances, the instructor may suggest that a response to an email may be best served through a telephone discussion.  

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 Dr. Poburko reserves the right to give an oral examination of the material.  

ACADEMIC HONESTY AND STUDENT CONDUCT Academic honesty is a condition of continued membership in the University community. Academic dishonesty, including plagiarism or any other form of cheating is subject to serious academic penalty. The University codes of student conduct and academic honesty are contained in policies T10.01 and T10.02 which are available in the Course Timetable and on the Web via http://www.reg.sfu.ca.


Participation in synchronous components requires students to have reliable high-speed internet access, a computer (ideally with a webcam) and headphones. Remote invigilation may be used for examinations.



Text: Reference materials for this course come from academic review articles. There is not text to be purchased.


Tutorials and lecture components will require students to have read literature articles that will be assigned via Canvas. 

Reference materials for this course come from academic review articles. There is not text to be purchased.


To be assigned via Canvas.

Department Undergraduate Notes:

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

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 fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges 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. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).