PSL1026H - Advanced Topics: Experimental Cell Physiology

Course Coordinator:

Z. P. Feng


This course presents experimental approaches to cell physiology, with particular attention to electrical and optical recordings, and how these measurements can be employed to study the intrinsic membrane properties of various cell types, and the mechanisms of cell signalling and secretion. The main objective of the course is to provide graduate students with the opportunity to understand physiological techniques commonly used in multiple fields, including neurobiology, endocrinology, cardiovascular, respiratory, developmental, and reproductive physiology. The course will focus on assisting the students with a contemporary understanding of not only the principles of the selected techniques, but also their applications and limitations. The course provides opportunities to participate in and/or to observe hands-on experiments with selected techniques, as well as related data analysis.


Membrane potential, action potentials, properties of dendrites and axons, extracellular currents vs. intracellular potentials, ion channels of cell membranes and subcellular compartments, roles of intracellular calcium, and synaptic transmission.


Nerve conductance measurement, brain slice stimulation and recording, field recording, patch-clamp recording, two-photon microscopy, confocal microscopy, electron microscopy, calcium signal measurements, optogenetics, animal models of stoke and nerve injury.


1) Lecture: 40%
2) Demonstration, hands-on experiments, data analysis: 40%
3) Class discussion: 10%
3) Student presentation: 10%




Paper critique: 40% (10% per instructor)
Student presentation: 40%
Class participation: 20% (5% per instructor; involvement in the class, class discussion/questions, specifics from each instructor and class attendance)

Teaching Faculty:

Z. P. Feng
E. Lambe
S. Sugita
H. S. Sun


Enrollment is limited to 12 students
Students must obtain the course director's approval to register in PSL1026H (each student must complete a course questionnaire).
When approval has been granted student registration will be officially approved on ROSI/ACORN.

Last updated: 23-Jul-2019