The 2020 Saltin International Graduate Webinar in Exercise and Clinical Physiology: Foundations to Frontiers

This year, the Saltin International Graduate Course will be held virtually, over 2 days. The course focuses on the integrated physiological responses to exercise and covers key concepts and methods from the molecular to the organ system to whole-body levels. The theme of the Webinar this year is ‘Foundations to Frontiers’.

Download Saltin Flyer.

Download the Program Schedule.

Dates: October 7 – 8, 2020
Location: Online Webinar
Registration: Is now closed. 

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Saltin International Graduate Course in Exercise and Clinical Physiology Program

Day 1

Wednesday, October 7:

10:00 - 10:15 Introduction:
Exercise Physiology, Bengt Saltin and the Canadian Perspective
Robert Boushel, University of British Columbia
10:15 - 10:50 Keynote Lecture
Exercise and IL6 – a Translational Perspective
Bente Klarlund Pedersen, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen
Introduced by Mary-Ellen Harper, University of Ottawa
10:50 -11:00 Q/A Discussion
Session #1: Cardiovascular Physiology
Chair: Ylva Hellsten, University of Copenhagen
11:00 - 11:20 Pulmonary-Circulatory Interactions during Exercise
Bill Sheel, University of British Columbia
11:25 - 11:45 Role of Left Ventricular Mechanics in Meeting the Acute and Chronic Demands of Exercise
Rob Shave, University of British Columbia
11:50 - 12:10 Muscle Microcirculatory Regulation and Oxygen Flux
Graham Fraser, Memorial University
12:15 - 12:30 Q/A Discussion
Session #2: Muscle-Neural Physiology
Chair: Niels Ørtenblad, University of Southern Denmark
1:00 - 1:20 Exercise-dependent Plasticity of Motoneurons
Jayne Kalmar, Wilfrid Laurier University
1:25 - 1:45 Skeletal Muscle Adaptation to Aerobic Exercise Training
Jenna Gillen, University of Toronto
1:45 - 2:00 Q/A Discussion

Day 2

Thursday, October 8:

10:00 - 10:15 Introduction: Exercise and Clinical Physiology:
The Copenhagen Tradition
Michael Kjaer, University of Copenhagen
10:15 - 10:50 Keynote Lecture
TGF-ß2 as a Novel Exercise-inducible Adipokine
Laurie Goodyear, Harvard University
Introduced by Jørgen Wojtaszewski, University of Copenhagen
10:50 - 11:00 Q/A Discussion
Session #1: Nutrition-Metabolism
Chair: Cathy Chan, University of Alberta
11:00 - 11:20 Exercise and the Gut
Jane Shearer, University of Calgary
11:25 - 11:45 Exercise and the Brain
Rebecca McPherson, Brock University
11:50 - 12:10 Brain activation and neural networks during exercise
Kevin Shoemaker, Western University
12:10 - 12:25 Q/A Discussion
Session #2: Metabolism:
Chair: André Carpentier, Université de Sherbrooke
1:00 - 1:20 Exercise and GDF-15 Regulation of Metabolism
David Wright, University of Guelph
1:25 - 1:45 Muscle Metabolic Microstructure and Exercise
Clara Prats, University of Copenhagen
1:50 - 2:10 Skeletal Muscle Mitochondrial Lifecycle:
Roles of exercise and obesity Mary-Ellen Harper, University of Ottawa
2:10 - 2:25 Q/A Discussion
2:30 - 2:45 Perspectives and Future
Jerome Dempsey, University of Wisconsin
Robert Boushel, University of British Columbia


A 2-day online intensive graduate-level course that brings together faculty and students from Danish and Canadian Universities focusing on topics that range from classical to frontier approaches to kinesiology.

This annual, integrative research-based course covers basic and applied science topics on various physiological systems and extends to common clinical physiological applications. Thematic areas in physiology will range from subcellular signalling to organ function and systemic integration.

The international aspect of the course facilitates the exchange of diverse topics, research perspectives, experimental approaches, research design, and national traditions. Faculty plenary lectures, student research presentations, and extensive seminar formats are intended to maximize student-student and student-faculty interaction, enrich learning and inspire creativity in research. The International Course also aims to enhance academic and research interaction between Danish and Canadian institutions to enrich graduate student learning, develop networks and collaboration.

*Next year's Saltin 2021 will take place on October 4-7 at Queen's Landing, Niagara-on-the Lake, Ontario

International Perspective

Canada and Scandinavia have strong cultural and business links with Canada being one of the strongest growing export markets for Danish companies. The Canadian and Danish Trade Commissions have built extensive networks for knowledge exchange based on a shared value system with a continuing commitment to fruitful collaboration on many global issues including industry, culture and the arctic. Universities across Canada and Denmark are committed to the ideal of academic scholarship and to the development of an international perspective to broaden and enrich the educational quality and expand research innovation. As part of university missions, students are encouraged to participate in international exchanges and internships, courses and field schools. These opportunities foster appreciation of other perspectives, cultures and exposure to new expertise as a part of excellence in university education. Equity, diversity and responsibility to society are values upon which the mission of Canadian and Danish Universities is founded. International collaborations between Canada and Denmark have been active for close to a century and have developed an intellectual depth and high rates of research discovery. Notably, a rich tradition of scientific collaboration exists in the fields of physiology and exercise.

After receiving the Nobel Prize in 1920 for his work on the function of capillaries, August Krogh took an interest in the work of Frederick Banting and Charles Best on the glucose-lowering peptide insulin. On a trip to North America in 1922 August and his wife Marie who was diabetic, visited Banting’s lab at the University of Toronto. Krogh verified Banting’s findings on insulin and upon return to Denmark was instrumental in the nomination of Banting & Macleod for the Nobel Prize. Krogh obtained a license for the protocol for insulin purification and began production immediately upon his return to Copenhagen. Together with the Danish physician H. C. Hagedorn, Krogh then founded the Nordic Insulin Laboratory and the Nordisk Insulin Foundation which today constitute the company Novo Nordisk and the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Continuing Krogh and Lindhard’s pioneering work in the physiology of exercise and establishment of the Copenhagen School, the Swedish physiologist Bengt Saltin conducted groundbreaking research in exercise physiology at the August Krogh Institute, beginning with seminal work on oxygen uptake, exercise and muscle glycogen, and the role of the circulation in exercise training and performance. Amongst many accomplishments, Saltin was awarded the August Krogh Prize, The Novo Nordisk Prize and the International Olympic Prize. As Director of The Copenhagen Muscle Research Centre he led the field internationally and was a strong proponent of international collaboration. He was awarded 12 honorary doctorates -- 3 from Canadian universities stemming from a rich history of research collaboration (>75 publications) with Canadian scientists. Bengt Saltin was an organizing member of the first International Graduate Courses held in 2010 and 2011, and owing to the positive review of these courses, he urged their continuation.

'There is no doubt that not only was it an exceptional learning opportunity but also the beginning of professional networks were formed. There were a number of discussions among the groups on concrete future studies.’ Bengt Saltin, 2011 Course, Quebec City

The Saltin International Graduate Course in Clinical and Exercise Physiology will extend the strong scientific lineage between Denmark and Canada. In the field of Exercise Physiology, the respective countries rank in the top tier internationally for scientific impact per capita. In the previous courses held in Canada and Denmark faculty and students from 20 universities were represented. The experience for both faculty and students was unique and highly valued by faculty and students alike.

‘I have taken part in these courses and the experience was amazing. It is a great learning opportunity and you get to interact with world experts both formally and informally. You can meet fellow students from across Canada and Europe - in some cases developing friends for decades. I encourage you to strongly consider fitting this into your studies. You will not get many of these chances.’ Terry Graham- Professor Emeritus, 2011 Course, Quebec City

Organizing Committee

Robert Boushel
University of British Columbia

Mary-Ellen Harper
University of Ottawa

Inge Holm

Kathy Manson
University of British Columbia

Emil Toft
Centre for Physical Activity Research (CFAS)

David Wright

University of Guelph, Canada


Course Objectives

  • To provide an innovative learning experience for graduate students through exposure to and interaction with an extensive group of internationally recognized scholars and student peers across Canada and Internationally.
  • To gain exposure to diverse research perspectives and experimental approaches to enrich student learning through plenary lectures by numerous renowned researchers and educators.
  • To facilitate interactive discussion on cutting edge topics, explore approaches to stimulate creativity and novelty in research design and enhance research study impact.
  • To gain experience in formulating and communicating research proposals.
  • To foster the formation of research networks between scientists and institutions for exploration of future academic research initiatives.
  • To participate in discussions on career paths and trajectory.
  • To gain experience presenting research to peers and scholars.

Course Outcomes

Graduate students will have the unique opportunity to view leading presentations and discussions with scholars in the field of exercise physiology on an array of topics over a 2-day period. Students will be exposed to state-of-the-art experimental approaches that may be implemented in their own research to enhance novelty and impact. The opportunity exists to connect online with peers at national and international levels.


The course will be held on a virtual platform.


There is a 15.00 CAD fee for the online course this year.

Students will be notified of acceptance to the course after registration.

Robert Boushel
University of British Columbia, Canada

André Carpentier
Université de Sherbrooke, Canada

Cathy Chan
University of Alberta, Canada

Jerome Dempsey
University of Wisconsin, USA

Graham Fraser
Memorial University, Canada

Jenna Gillen
University of Toronto, Canada

Laurie Goodyear
Harvard University, USA

Mary-Ellen Harper
University of Ottawa, Canada

Ylva Hellsten
University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Jayne Kalmar
Wilfred Laurier University, Canada

Michael Kjær
University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Rebecca McPherson
Brock University, Canada

Niels Ørtenblad
University of Southern Denmark, Denmark

Bente Klarlund Pedersen
Rigshospitalet, Denmark

Clara Prats
University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Rob Shave
University of British Columbia, Canada

Jane Shearer
University of Calgary,  Canada

Bill Sheel

University of British Columbia, Canada

Kevin Shoemaker
Western University, Canada

David Wright
University of Guelph, Canada


Registration has closed as of Tuesday, October 6, 2020.


Dr. Robert Boushel, Director
School of Kinesiology
War Memorial Gymnasium 210D
6081 University Boulevard
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1


Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism is proud to support student registration for the 2020 Saltin International Graduate Webinar. This monthly journal publishes original research articles, reviews, and commentaries, focusing on the application of physiology, nutrition, and metabolism to the study of human health, physical activity, and fitness.