The Department offers an Honours BSc degree specialization in Cellular, Anatomical & Physiological Sciences (CAPS). Courses are offered in human physiology and anatomy, advanced cellular and molecular physiology and the physiologic basis of cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal, endocrine and central nervous system functions. Students in the program are required to complete an eight-month research project under the supervision of our research faculty forming the basis their graduating honours thesis. Students may choose to complete a year of cooperative education as part of their undergraduate specialization.
THE STUDY OF LIFE PROCESSES
How living systems work from the molecular level to organ systems to the whole organism.
How the organism responds to physical activities and to the environment around it whether it is the vacuum of space or the depths of the ocean?
How disease can affect living systems?
How the genome translates into function both within the cell and the whole organism?
Cellular, Anatomical and Physiological Sciences are important because they are the basis upon which we expand our knowledge of what “life” is, how to treat disease, and how to cope with stresses imposed upon our bodies by new environments The history of the field can be traced to Aristotle in the 4th century B.C., but the science in its modern form began to develop with the Renaissance. The American Physiological Society was formed in 1887; the Canadian Physiological Society in 1935. Over the last century, the field has grown at a constantly accelerating rate, diversifying into many specialized areas. Most recently, advances in molecular biology have provided new techniques for investigating physiological processes at cellular and sub cellular level such as signal transduction, membrane transport, muscle contraction, electrolyte regulation, endocrine function and neural conduction. New findings challenge older concepts as scientists probe the molecular levels where structure and function become synonymous. Knowledge of the normal human structure and function helps scientists understand what goes wrong in disease, leading to the development of new strategies for prevention and treatment. The highest honor awarded in Cellular, Anatomical and Physiological Sciences is the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, awarded since 1901 by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
A B.Sc. degree in Cellular, Anatomical and Physiological Sciences allows you to work in many different settings under the supervision of a senior scientist. If you are aspiring to the level of and independent investigator and teacher, you should plan to obtain a M.Sc., Ph.D. or M.D. degree. Work settings including colleges or universities allow for teaching students in anatomy, physiology, biology, medicine, dentistry, and other health fields and conducting research and guiding doctoral candidates who will become the teachers and investigators of the future. If you prefer full time research you can find rewarding positions in government laboratories, industry, hospitals, and clinical settings.
Many undergraduates in Cellular, Anatomical and Physiological Sciences chose to continue their education in medical, dental and veterinary schools where cellular, anatomical and physiological sciences are the prominent and necessary knowledge base.
The preceding information is adapted from the American Physiological Society.