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This subject focuses on the physiology of cardiovascular health with an emphasis on cardiac, vascular, renal and endocrine homeostasis. Students should develop an understanding of how genes and environment interact in early development and at maturity to shape cardiovascular health in populations and individuals. Studies will follow the programmed development of the cardiovascular system from gene to cell and organ.
Three themes of study are presented. The Theme ‘Blood Pressure – Causes And Consequences’ examines the mechanisms involved in the homeostatic control of whole body bloody pressure and considers how dysfunctional components of this system can contribute to hypertension. The ‘Perspectives on the Heart’ Theme is concerned with whole heart and heart muscle cell mechanical and electrical responses to circulatory demand and to changing hormonal influence. The Theme of ‘Programming and Reprogramming’ deals with the relationship between early cardiovascular modeling influences (maternal and environmental) and adult cardiovascular functional outcomes. Students will be introduced to experimental approaches and models in physiology and current controversies in cardiovascular research. Disturbances in physiological function will be studied to gain insight into the molecular and cellular bases of disease processes.
In this subject the lectures are supplemented with group discussions where assignment tasks are explored. Students will be introduced to the primary research literature and will consider articles of current interest to analyze for their assignments.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject students should have:
- Established a sound factual understanding of cardiovascular structure, function and development at both organ and cellular levels.
- Gained knowledge of the important endocrine bases for maintenance of cardiovascular homeostasis.
Developed the skills to consider the role of genes and environment in shaping cardiovascular health.
Achieved proficiency in reading, analyzing and evaluating current scientific literature in the field of cardiovascular pathophysiology.
Last updated: 12 May 2020