Spring 2021 - BPK 408W D100

Cellular Physiology Laboratory (3)

Class Number: 7722

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 8:30 AM – 9:20 AM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 28, 2021
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    STAT 201 and BPK 305 for BPK Majors or BISC 305 for BISC Majors. Enrollment of non-BPK and non-BISC majors require permission of the instructor.



An advanced laboratory course in cellular physiological techniques providing students with theoretical and practical training in cellular physiology laboratory techniques such as DNA and RNA manipulation and quantification, immunofluorescence imaging of protein expression, tissue contraction studies and recording of nerve action potentials and modulation. Writing.


This course is an advanced theoretical and practical laboratory course in cellular physiological techniques. The course will provide students with sound theoretical understanding and practical hands-on training in fundamental and current biomedical physiology laboratory techniques of DNA manipulation and quantification, fluorescence microscopy, bacteria and mammalian cell culture, bioassays of invertebrate smooth muscle and nerve tissue. The information learned in BPK 305 / BISC 305 is the starting point for discussions and students are encouraged to review their previous course notes and text prior to the start of the course.  

13 weeks; 1 lecture hours and 4 lab hours per week (Note: For Fall 2020, due to COVID-19, face-to-face labs will be held for three weeks (Weeks 9 – 11) in November only. Students must be available to attend labs in person.


Microbiology & Microscopy 
Dilutions, aseptic technique, cell counts
Molecular and Cell Biology
PCR, subcloning, transformations, plasmid purification, restriction digests
DNA gel electrophoresis, gel imaging
mRNA quantification
Electrophysiology and myography
Final Project 
Scientific writing skill development


1.   Work independently in a laboratory setting, including adaptation of relevant protocols, safe and proficient handling of reagents, thorough record-keeping, and appropriate data collection techniques  
2.   Use modern cellular/physiological lab methods to work appropriately with bacterial cells, mammalian cell culture, and whole organisms (annelids)
3.  Describe the process of gene transfection, and explain the impact in cultured mammalian cells on phenotype at the molecular and cellular level 
4.   Perform immunostaining, microscopy, and spectrophotometry to characterize mammalian and bacterial cells.
5.   Integrate knowledge to solve novel problems in cell biology, neurophysiology or skeletal muscle physiology, including experimental design.
6.  Use appropriate methods for quantitative and statistical analysis and graphical representation of data, and for interpreting results
7.   Collaborate with peers to design, carry out, and analyze results from an independent experiment, including proper controls, statistical treatment of data, and appropriate scientific communication   
8.   Develop coherent arguments supported by relevant and credible scientific evidence   
9.  Communicate effectively using oral, visual, and written communication, including writing for a scientific audience




Lab Reports            40
Lab Work               10
Lab Book                5
Pre-class Quizzes    10
Final Project           20
Final Quiz               15

** 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 certificatewhereby 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:  


Laboratory glasses, a laboratory coat, and a hardbound laboratory notebook are required for the first laboratory session. Additional requirements due to COVID-19 will be announced at the start of the course.



There is no required course text. Laboratory manual modules curated on CANVAS will contain suggested readings beyond material covered in class.

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 spring 2021 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).