The 2022 Saltin International Course in Exercise and Clinical Physiology

The Saltin International Graduate Course brings together faculty and students from Canadian, Danish and other universities around the world for a four-day in-person intensive PhD level course in exercise physiology and clinical exercise physiology. The course integrates foundational knowledge with frontier research directions from basic science and applied approaches to uncover mechanisms regulating subcellular signalling, tissue and organ function and integrative physiological system responses to acute exercise and training in healthy individuals and clinical populations. Thematic lectures on diverse topics, panel discussions, poster presentations, structured groups discussions and informal interactions between students and faculty provides a rich environment for student learning, exchange of ideas and expertise, formation of collaboration networks and institutional research exchange. The international aspect of the course fosters sharing of diverse perspectives, traditions, culture and experience.

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The 2022 Saltin International Course in Exercise and Clinical Physiology

Day 1

Monday, October 3

8:00 - 8:05 Welcome
Robert Boushel, University of British Columbia
8:05 - 8:45 Current/future directions in exercise physiology: importance of integrative physiology
Michael Joyner, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
Experimental Models in Exercise Physiology
Chair: Michael Kjær, University of Copenhagen

8:50 - 9:15 Design of rodent studies to increase clinical translation
Greg Steinberg, McMaster University
9:20 - 9:45 The study of ‘exercising’ human muscle cells in vitro and myokines
Celine Aguer, McGill University (Outaouais Campus)
9:50 - 10:15 Mitochondrial function: Analytical approaches
Chris Perry, York University
10:15 - 10:45 Coffee
10:45 - 11:45 Presenting scientific findings: The art of the talk
Morten Zacho, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen
11:45 - 12:30 Student-faculty discussion: talks/presentations
12:30 - 12:40 Introduction to Poster Presentations
Michael Kjær, University of Copenhagen
12:40 - 13:30 Lunch
13:30 - 17:00 Recreation and network discussion
17:30 - 18:30 Fireside Chat: Experimental models/study design
Chair: Cathy Chan, University of Alberta
Ylva Hellsten, André Carpentier, Niels Ørtenblad, Jose Calbet
19:00 - 20:30 Dinner

Day 2

Tuesday, October 4

Thematic Lecture
8:00 - 8:45 Mitochondrial adaptations to exercise
Darrell Neufer, East Carolina University
Cardiopulmonary Physiology
Chair: Jerome Dempsey, University of Wisconsin

8:45 - 9:10 Exercise and pulmonary-circulatory interactions
Bill Sheel, University of British Columbia
9:10 - 9:35 The microcirculation
Graham Fraser, Memorial University
9:35 - 10:00 The circulation and oxygen transport in maximal exercise performance
Jose Calbet, University of Las Palmas
10:00 - 10:30 Coffee
10:30 - 12:00 Student Poster Presentations
12:00 - 13:00 Lunch
Sex and Age Differences
Chair: Jenna Gillen, University of Toronto

13:00 - 13:25 Estrogen and the vasculature
Ylva Hellsten, University of Copenhagen
13:25 - 13:50 Metabolic responses to exercise
Michaela Devries, University of Waterloo
13:50 - 14:15 Age, sex, exercise and the tendon
Michael Kjær, University of Copenhagen
14:15 - 18:00 Recreation and network discussion
18:00 - 19:00 Fireside Chat: Omics Biology and Physiology: the Gap
Chair: David Wright
Laurie Goodyear, Mary-Ellen Harper, Jorgen Wojtaszewski
19:00 - 20:30 Dinner

Day 3

Wednesday, October 5

Thematic Lecture
8:00 - 8:45 Systemic effects of exercise
Laurie Goodyear, Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard University
Exercise, Nutrition and Lifestyle Approaches in Clinical Settings
Chair: Kristi Adamo, University of Ottawa

8:50 - 9:15 Brown adipose tissue, lipids and metabolism
André Carpentier, Université de Sherbrooke
9:15 - 9:40 Exercise-nutrition interactions
Cathy Chan, University of Alberta
9:40 - 10:05 Exercise in the prevention and treatment of cardiometabolic diseases
Jenna Gillen, University of Toronto
10:05 - 10:30 Coffee
10:30 - 12:00 Student Posters
12:00 - 13:00 Lunch
Novel Exercise Targets
Chair: Jane Shearer, University of Calgary

13:00 - 13:25 Exercise and the brain
Rebecca McPherson, Brock University
13:25 - 13:50 Exercise and muscle stem cells
Michael De Lisio, University of Ottawa
13:50 - 14:15 Endothelial cell-derived EPO in mediating exercise capacity
Brittany Edgett, University of Calgary
14:15 - 18:00 Recreation and network discussion
18:00 - 19:00 Fireside Chat: Mechanisms, Function and Performance
Chair: Rebecca McPherson
Michael Kjaer, Bill Sheel, Michael Joyner, Michael Koehle
19:00 - 20:30 Dinner

Day 4

Thursday, October 6

Thematic Lecture
8:00 - 8:45 Exercise signaling in insulin sensitivity
Jørgen Wojtaszewski, University of Copenhagen
Responses to Exercise
Chair: Ylva Hellsten, University of Copenhagen

8:50 - 9:15 Exercise and glycogen metabolism
Niels Ørtenblad, University of Southern Denmark
9:15 - 9:40 Placental responses to exercise
Kristi Adamo, University of Ottawa
9:40 - 10:05 Exercise and the microbiome
Jane Shearer, University of Calgary
10:05 - 10:35 Coffee
10:35 - 10:55 Exercise and pollution
Michael Koehle, University of British Columbia
11:00 - 11:30 Perspectives on graduate student training in exercise and clinical physiology
Jerome Dempsey, Professor, University of Wisconsin
11:30 - 12:00 Closing Discussion
Robert Boushel, University of British Columbia
Morten Zacho, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen


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. Canada shares a 3,000 km maritime border with Denmark (Greenland) as well as rich historic and cultural links between the Inuit populations on both sides of the border. 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. Upon return to Denmark Krogh was instrumental in the nomination of Banting & Macleod for the Nobel Prize in 1923. Krogh obtained a license for the protocol for insulin purification and began production 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.

In 1909, Johannes Lindhard was appointed in the Faculty of Medicine to lead the study of Gymnastics as an academic discipline, and in 1917 the laboratory for the Theory of Gymnastics (the Copenhagen School) was formed in the Faculty of Science. Krogh and Lindhard pioneered research on the physiology of exercise with precise measurement of ventilation, heart rate and cardiac output and elucidated the mechanisms regulating these responses. Over 2–3 decades, they firmly established the field of exercise physiology and mentored the next generation of prolific researchers in the field of human integrative physiology, namely Erik Hohwü-Christensen, Erling Asmussen and Marius Nielsen referred to as the ‘three musketeers’. Following in their footsteps, the Swedish physiologist Bengt Saltin conducted research in exercise physiology at the August Krogh Institute, beginning with foundational work on oxygen uptake, extending to muscle bioenergetics and biochemistry, and the role of the circulation in the limits of exercise. Bengt was Director of The Copenhagen Muscle Research Centre that continued the legacy of the University of Copenhagen as a leading centre in the field internationally. Amongst many accomplishments, Saltin was awarded the August Krogh Prize, The Novo Nordisk Prize, and the International Olympic Prize. Bengt 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 Canada in 2010 and 2011, and owing to the positive review of these courses, he encouraged 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, University of Guelph

Organizing Committee

Robert Boushel
University of British Columbia

Mary-Ellen Harper
University of Ottawa

David Wright
University of British Columbia

Michael Kjær
University of Copenhagen

Kathy Manson
University of British Columbia

Inge Holm
Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen


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 the exploration of future academic research initiatives.
  • To participate in discussions on career paths and trajectories.
  • 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 4-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 with peers at national and international levels.


Queen's Landing: 155 Byron Street, P.O. Box I 180, Niagara-on-the Lake, ON, LOS I JO
Phone#: 905-468-2195.


Registration includes food and room accommodation for 4 days/nights. Please select from one of the following:

  • Course Registration & Single Room - $1575 plus 13% tax (limited availability)
  • Course Registration & Double Room - $1150 plus 13% tax

*The venue has a limited number of single rooms. We will do our best to accommodate a single room request. Registration fees are to be paid to Queen's Landing upon check-in at the course venue.

André Carpentier
Université de Sherbrooke

Bill Sheel
University of British Columbia

Brittany Edgett
University of Calgary

Cathy Chan
University of Alberta

Celine Aguer
McGill University (Outaouais Campus)

Chris Perry
York University

Darrell Neufer
East Carolina University

David Wright

Graham Fraser
Memorial University

Greg Steinberg
McMaster University

Jane Shearer
University of Calgary

Jenna Gillen
University of Toronto

Jerome Dempsey
University of Wisconsin

Jose Calbet
University of Las Palmas

Jørgen Wojtaszewski
University of Copenhagen

Kristi Adamo
University of Ottawa

Laurie Goodyear
Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard University

Mary-Ellen Harper

Michael De Lisio
University of Ottawa

Michaela Devries
University of Waterloo

Michael Joyner
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

Michael Kjær
University of Copenhagen

Michael Koehle
University of British Columbia

Morten Zacho
Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen

Niels Ørtenblad
University of Southern Denmark

Rebecca McPherson
Brock University

Robert Boushel
University of British Columbia

Ylva Hellsten
University of Copenhagen

Registration is open this year.

Click here to register.

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