Exercise Physiology

Exercise Physiology

Program of Study and Degree (MSc/PhD)

The M.Sc. program in exercise physiology is designed to study in depth the physiological responses of human subjects to acute exercise and physical conditioning. Particular emphasis is placed on the study of aerobic and anaerobic metabolism and cardiorespiratory functions. Course work deals with the effects of different types and quantities of exercise, the influence of varying environmental conditions (attitude, heat, cold exposure), and the effects of growth, aging, hereditary factors, nutritional status and disease on exercise responses and adaptations. Current methodologies for the assessment of human metabolism, muscle biochemistry, and cardiorespiratory functions during exercise are emphasized.

In the first year of master's studies, bioscience-oriented graduate courses are taken in physical education and other related disciplines (e.g. physiology, biochemistry). During this year, students are expected to acquire skills in library research, laboratory methodologies and research design. The second year a study is normally devoted to thesis data collection and analysis under the supervision of a specific faculty member and the student's thesis committee.

Master of Science Degree requirements include completion of at least four one-term graduate level courses in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies selected in consultation with the student's graduate supervisor, and completion and oral defense of a master's thesis.

Upon completion of M.Sc. requirements, several avenues exist for employment of additional study: post-graduate work at the doctoral level, research in university of clinical exercise laboratories, teaching, and employment in the community in business, or with government agencies related to sport, coaching and physical fitness. Several recent graduate have pursued medical studies.

The Doctoral program consists of two one-term graduate level courses, comprehensive examination, and a written thesis, defended orally.

Facilities and Equipment

The School of Kinesiology and Health Studies is located at 28 Division Street at the core of Queen's University's campus. Included are excellent laboratory resources in the fields of exercise physiology and related disciplines. The Queen's Centre provides additional laboratory suitable for training studies resources. Measurement capabilities include computerized systems for the determination of exercise metabolism, cardiorespiratory and cardiovascular functions, as well as facilities and equipment for the analysis of body composition and blood biochemistry.

Research Focus

In general, research conducted within the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies has involved the study of exercising human subjects, although opportunities for animal research are available via collaboration with other units. Research directions of faculty members include mechanisms of cardiovascular control and autonomic nervous functions, under different acute and chronic conditions, chronic exercise effects on cardiac anatomy and function, effects of varying treatments (i.e. diet and/or exercise) on lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, and the effects of pregnancy on physiological responses to acute and chronic exercise.

Collaborative research which involves other biomedical departments at Queen's University is encouraged. Recent master's thesis projects have included research from the Department of Medicine, the School of Rehabilitation Therapy, the School of Nursing, the Division of Cardiology, and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

The School of Rehabilitation Therapy is located close to the Medical Library and the Regional Rehabilitation Centre of Kingston General Hospital. These resources enhance greatly the scope for research associated with the program.

Faculty Research Interests

Robert M. Ross, Ph.D. (Exercise Physiology, Universite' de Montreal) Effects of various treatments on lipid and carbohydrate metabolism, and adipose tissue distribution; acute and chronic effects of caloric restriction and exercise on human obesity.

Michael Tschakovsky, Ph.D. (Physiology, University of Waterloo) Mechanisms determining the matching of oxygen delivery to skeletal muscle demand in exercise.  Cardiovascular dysfunction in type 2 diabetes and its contribution to exercise intolerance.  Novel interventions for improving cardiovascular support of exercising skeletal muscle leading to improved exercise tolerance.    Impact of exercise on brain health and function.

Brendon Gurd, Ph.D. (Muscle Physiology, University of Western Ontario) My primary research aim is to understand the mechanisms by which both different intensities and different types of exercise improve mitochondrial function. In addition, I am interested in the impact that these improvements in mitochondrial function have in both health and disease

Kyra Pyke, Ph.D. (Physiology, Queen's University) Human vascular control in exercise. Function and dysfunction of the vascular endothelium


For further information contact
Graduate Coordinator

School of Kinesiology and Health Studies
SKHS Building
28 Division Street, KHS 206
Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario   K7L 3N6

Tel:  613-533-6000 x2666
Fax: 613-533-2009