PSL1080H: Investigative Developmental Physiology

Course Coordinators:

 B. Cox, E. Lambe

Introduction and Overview:

June 28 - September 20, 2023

This course represents an excellent opportunity to develop skills in presentation and critical analysis. Students need not have a strong background in many of the topics covered. In fact, a major goal of the course is to broaden the interdisciplinary background of the participants. Students will have the opportunities to hear lectures from and to meet international experts in multiple aspects of Developmental Physiology:

  •  Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine

  •  Pregnancy & Birth

  •  Developmental Neurobiology

  •  Cardiovascular Development

  •  Pulmonary Development

  •  Developmental Origins of Health & Disease

Application for this course is due May 20, 2023.

Please complete the application form by the deadline above.

For more information, please click herefor more information about this year’s exchange and how to apply (email any questions to Dr. Brian Cox at 

The course runs on Wednesdays from 1:30 to 4:00 pm beginning with the introduction on June 28th. The introductory class will focus on guidelines and suggestions for successful paper presentations. It will be followed by a series of six student-led seminars (weekly, commencing July 5th) where recent seminal papers in the field of Developmental Biology and Physiology will be presented and discussed. The goal is for the student to critically assess the published work within the context of the field. The student is expected to read related work to be able to place the assigned paper in a context and make this clear to the other students. Students in the audience are expected to have read the presented paper and have questions prepared to engage in a discussion of the paper and the impact it has had on the field. 

This year is the 25th annual International Exchange Workshop in Developmental and Perinatal Biology (August 20-26, 2023) between the University of Toronto (UofT) and Karolinska Institute (KI), Stockholm, Sweden. This year, the Exchange Workshop will take place at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm Sweden. Students will be funded to attend the one-week exchange program and must travel to Sweden.  Students will hear lectures from Faculty from University of Toronto and Karolinska Institute and participate in workshops and site visits. Students will present their own thesis work as a poster as part of the course evaluation. Students are expected to attend all seminars and to participate by asking questions and commenting. Students are strongly encouraged to engage and interact with the participating faculty and Swedish trainees during the exchange and at social gatherings hosted during the week. This is an opportunity to identify a research topic and mentor (see next section). 

The final component of the course comprises a short oral presentation (September 6th) of a proposal for a written assignment. The written assignment (due September 20th at 5 pm) is to cover a particular aspect of Developmental Physiology that was discussed during the seminars and/or Exchange Workshop. Students will pick a topic and a mentor, a faculty member at either U of T or KI, to help direct them in their literature review and writing. 

Course Evaluation: 

Students must attend all components of the course, including the International Exchange Workshop, in order to receive a passing course mark. 

Component 1 Seminars 
1) Presentation of a research paper: 30% final course mark 
2) Participation, including evaluation of questions prepared: 10% final course mark 

The marks from Component 1 of the course will form the mid-term mark. 

Component 2 International Exchange Workshop and term paper: 
1) Oral or poster presentation at Exchange Workshop: 20% final course mark 
2) Written Assignment: 30% final course mark 
3) Oral Presentation of Assignment: 10% final course mark 


Please note that space is limited. Preference is given to PhD students.