Carl F. Moxey, PhD
Senior Lecturer in Biology
Northeastern University,
College of Professional Studies

Spring Semester 2019
Lecture:  Monday, Wednesday, 600 PM – 800 PM
Forsyth 237

Recommended Textbook
JE Hall, 2016, Guyton and Hall Textbook of Medical Physiology, 13th edition,
Elsevier, Inc, Philadelphia
[ ISBN 978-1-4557-7005-2 ]

Week Date Lecture
I Monday, 07 January Introduction
What We Are
Wednesday, 09 January A Quick Review of Gross Anatomy, pt. 1
[ self-directed modules for further study ]
II Monday, 14 January A Quick Review of Gross Anatomy, pt. 2
[ self-directed modules for further study ]
Wednesday, 16 January Basic Cell Function
[ Hall: 01–03 ]
III Monday, 21 January Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr
no classes

Wednesday, 24 January Membrane Transport
[ Hall: 04 ]
IV Monday, 28 January Membrane Potentials & Action Potentials
[ Hall: 05 ]
Wednesday, 30 January Cardiac Muscle
[ Hall: 09–10 ][ notes ]
V Monday, 04 February The Normal Electrocardiogram
[ Hall: 11, 13 ][ notes ]
[ heart images ]
[ Stokes-Adams syndrome ]

Wednesday, 06 February The Circulation
[ Hall: 14–15 ][ notes ]
VI Monday, 11 February Microcirculation & Blood Flow
[ Hall: 16–17 ][ notes 16 | notes 17 ]
[ 15 reference notes | cardiac output ]
Wednesday, 13 February Pulmonary Ventilation
[ Hall: 38 ][ general notes ]
VII Monday, 18 February Washington’s Birthday
no classes

Wednesday, 20 February Pulmonary Circulation
[ Hall: 39 ][ quick notes ]
Week Date Lecture
VIII Monday, 25 February Respiratory Gas Exchange & Transport
[ Hall: 40–41 ][ notes ]
Wednesday, 27 February Regulation of Respiration
[ Hall: 42 ][ notes ]
  03—10 March Not-quite-Spring Break
no classes

IX Monday, 11 March Exam 1
A sample exam (although with slightly different coverage) is available in Blackboard

Body Fluid Compartments
[ Hall: 25 ]
Wednesday, 13 March Urine Formation:  Glomerular Filtration
[Hall: 27][ notes ]
X Monday, 18 March Urine Formation:  Tubular Processing
[ Hall: 28 ][ general notes ]
Wednesday, 20 March Acid-Base Balance
[ Hall: 31 ][ acid-base balance review notes ]
XI Monday, 25 March Sensory Receptor Processing
[ Hall: 47 ]
Wednesday, 27 March
XII Monday, 01 April Receptor & Neural Function of the Eye
[ Hall: 51 ]
Wednesday, 03 April Gastrointestinal Physiology
[ Hall: 63–64 ][ notes ]
XIII Monday, 08 April
Wednesday, 10 April Gut Secretion, Digestion, & Absorption
[ Hall: 65–66 ]
XIV Monday, 15 April Patriots’s Day
no classes

Wednesday, 17 April Metabolism of Carbohydrates & Formation of ATP
Metabolic Rate
[ Hall: 68, 73 ]
XV Monday, 22 April Exam 2
Wednesday, 24 April

Contact me by e-mail at
or by text-message or voice-mail at

Course Description
The medical physiology course is designed to provide NEU Bioengineering students with a working knowledge of the integrated behavior of organs and systems in the human body. As such, the student will be provided with a comprehensive and intense immersion in each physiological subsystem with the expectation that he or she displays knowledge of each at the level equivalent to that of a second year medical student following his or her exposure to physiology. The specific subsystems covered are: Muscle physiology, Cardiovascular physiology with ECG interpretation, Pulmonary physiology with gas exchange mechanics and ventilation/perfusion, Renal physiology and water balance, Regulation of pH, Gastrointestinal physiology, Temperature regulation and energy balance, Endocrine systems, and Reproductive systems. The course will not cover neurophysiology.
Class lectures based upon the distributed outlines. This material may, from time to time, be augmented by assigned readings, Internet searches, or video presentations.
Exams will be based on the lecture presentations and any other assigned material.
Bioengineering students only.
It is presumed that the student has had an introductory, college-level anatomy & physiology course.
Prior courses in mathematics, physics, and chemistry will be useful.
Two examinations, as specified in the Grading Section below.

There is an expectation of TRACE participation:  The student survey known as TRACE (Teacher Rating and Course Evaluation) is a required part of every undergraduate and graduate course with five or more students.
Course Objectives During this course, the student will have the opportunity to become conversant with and knowledgeable about the physiology of the human body so that she or he may be able to:
  • compare and contrast the normal functioning of particular cells, tissues, or organ systems of the human body with the pathological state;
  • describe how organ systems are integrated to maintain homeostasis;
  • diagram the methods of effective ligand signaling, listing the agents, receptors, and response mechanisms, particularly in the autonomic nervous system;
  • display a practical working knowledge on the topics of general cell physiology, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal and endocrine physiology by being able to give detailed descriptions of each;
  • cite examples relating knowledge of fundamental physiological concepts to clinical correlates of these concepts in humans;
  • demonstrate a solid foundation of physiological principles through critical application to novel future pathophysiological and pharmacological concepts.

This is the Fineprint Section
Course content.
What you need to know. Physiology is a demanding field of study, particularly within your chosen profession as a Bioengineer, requiring the student to be disciplined and attentive to detail. There is much to learn and a very short period in which to learn it. Students who attend the lectures regularly, take adequate notes during lecture, and study regularly do well in these courses. Besides the formal prerequisites, a baseline of knowledge is presumed:  a working command of spoken and written English; the ability to perform basic arithmetic operations; an elementary knowledge of plane and solid geometry; basic biology, including structure of the cell, evolution, and development; basic chemistry, including atomic structure, elements, compounds, and energy; and some knowledge of physics, such as the laws of motion. Add to this list as a very strongly suggested skill set is the ability to use a computer, e-mail, and the Internet productively. Not only will this allow you to use the lecture-note pages to the fullest, but it will also permit easy and rapid communication between you and your instructor, you and your classmates, you and your College.
This may look like a formidable list, but do not be put off by it; there is nothing in the list that should not be expected of any student taking a graduate science course, let alone physiology. Except for the language issue, any deficit can be overcome by additional reading and study by the student at the appropriate time.
Studying. I am not an expert in designing effective study habits, but I will offer a few suggestions:
1.  Be interested in the material. I believe that even if every other suggestion is ignored, when a student is truly interested in a subject, he or she takes the time to explore it in greater detail. The more one investigates something, the more expert one becomes.
2.  Study often. Try not to wait until the night before a midterm or final to cram. If one studies a little bit after each class session, not only does the material seem more familiar, but there is the chance for additional consolidation of the material into memory. Some authorities recommend at least two hours of study for each hour of lecture material.
3.  Study what is important. Always study the material presented in lecture and any assigned reading. I would be remiss if I did not emphasize how important it is to go to class. Additional reading of the textbook or linked web pages should not be ignored, but if pressed for study time, go with learning the material that the test is known to cover.
4.  Generate questions and answers. And do not make them trivially simple. Test them out on other students in the class. Solve problems. Use the study/quiz questions in your textbook.
5.  Study as a group. If the group members test one another, make sure that at least one person in the group knows the correct answer to the test question.
6.  Seek extra help. As with studying, do not wait until the last minute. For one thing, you will have lost the context of the problem. If you do not understand something, ask the instructor after class, or ask your laboratory teaching assistant, or e-mail the instructor.
7.  Use Blackboard™. To help you with this course, a Blackboard™ site has been set up. That site has useful items and links that can improve your studying and grade in this course. Here are some of the components of Blackboard™:
  • Course Information  The syllabus here, instructions on how to log on to the textbook website, and a link to the student website.
  • Course Materials  Study guides, learning objectives, and links to learning activities are in this area.
  • Assessment Quizzes  This section includes quizzes for each chapter.
  • Discussion Board  This is a good place to ask questions or peruse the questions and answers of other students.
Recommended Additional Textbooks
LS Costanzo, Physiology, 4th edition, Elsevier Saunders, Philadelphia, 2009
W Ganong, Review of Physiology, 22nd edition, McGraw-Hill Medical, 2005
BM Koeppen & BA Stanton, Berne & Levy Physiology, 6th edition, Elsevier Mosby, 2010
JN Pasley, USMLE Road Map:  Physiology, 2nd edition, McGraw-Hill Medical, 2005
C Seidel, Basic Concepts in Physiology:  A Students Survival Guide, McGraw-Hill Medical, 2002  
JB West, Respiratory Physiology:  The Essentials, 8th edition, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, 2008
Format. Examinations.
Format. Lecture examinations will be a case-study-essay/problem-solving and multiple-choice/true-false questions. Unless otherwise noted, questions will be based on the material presented in lecture; the lecture outlines available through the syllabus web page links and the visual presentations will serve as a guide for the material covered. This statement does not preclude the possibility of questions being asked which might serve to test the student’s ability to visualize, analyze, or interpret other data germane to the field of inquiry. In addition, questions will not just test rote memorization of data, but some may require the student to analyze data to arrive at the correct answer.
From time to time, questions may be added as lateral-thinking challenges to the student. If used, answering these questions is voluntary on the part of the student, and any answer, or lack thereof, will in no way affect the grade earned by the student on the didactic portion of the examination.
Exam protocol. Examinations must be considered to be learning experiences, and as such, should primarily be used to assess a student’s level of knowledge. It is incumbent upon the student to read the examination instructions carefully, to heed any additions or corrections indicated by the instructor, and, if possible, to ask the instructor if something is not clearly explained or questioned. Be aware, however, that it may not be possible to answer such questions because to do so would betray the answer.
If an examination is presented through the course-management system (e.g., Blackboard), the student must treat the examination as an individual effort; thus, while collaboration with others, consultation with experts, the Internet, etc., are strictly forbidden, the student may use any material related to the lecture presentations (e.g., the presentations themselves, lecture notes, and the textbook).
All exams must be submitted by the designated end time for that examination; failure to submit the exam by that time will result in a diminution of the grade for the examination.
Under extraordinary circumstances, and only with the consent of the instructor, a student may begin and complete the exam outside of the scheduled time parameters.
Challenges. Any challenge to a question on an exam or to a grade earned on an exam must be submitted in writing by the class following the posting or review of the answers or grades for that exam.
Missed exams. No makeup examination will be given except for one missed due to extraordinary circumstances. In those cases of genuine emergency, prior notice or subsequent documentation must be provided in order for a makeup to be allowed. Failure to do so will result in a grade of zero being posted for that exam. Vide supra for information on how to contact me.
Athletics. Academics has priority over sports. If there is a conflict between sports travel and course work that must be completed, it is the responsibility of the student to ensure that arrangements have been made with the instructor to clear any missing assignments or examinations prior to the final exam in the course.
Extra credit projects. No. Why not?
  • To be fair, an extra credit project, if offered to one student, must be offered to all students.
  • The time spent on an extra credit project would better be used in studying the assigned material.

Classroom behavior.
Attendance. While attendance is not taken on a weekly basis in a large lecture course such an Anatomy & Physiology, and there is no attendance component in the determination of the grade, failure of the student to attend lecture on a regular basis could adversely affect a student’s performance on the tests, not to mention that the student has not been able to benefit from the presentation of the material.
Deportment. Proper class deportment is expected. Questions that seek to clarify or expand the lecture material are always welcome. Disruptive classroom behavior will not be tolerated, and frivolous questions that are totally off-topic, persistent argumentative questions, or questions that only serve as self-aggrandizement fall within the purview of such behavior. Students engaged in such unsociable activity will be asked to leave. If the offender or offenders cannot be identified, then the lecture will be terminated, but the class will be responsible for whatever material would have been covered. Impolite behavior, such as wearing a baseball cap indoors, is merely gauche, not disruptive, and so, cannot be barred.
Portable communication devices. The use of beepers or cellular phones during class can be quite disruptive to the lecture environment. Therefore, all beepers and cellular phones must be turned off (or placed in vibrate mode) prior to entering the lecture room. Exceptions to this policy must be cleared with the instructor. Students who engage in text-messaging during class are not only being rude to the instructor and their fellow students, but are also depriving themselves of the class content. Violation of this directive will be considered equivalent to disruptive classroom behavior.
Many circumstances may require a modification of the course content or schedule of events (such as a school closure on a scheduled examination date); the instructor reserves the right to make such modifications with appropriate notification. If such a change is necessary, a notice will be posted via Blackboard™ to call the student’s attention to it.
Your overall course averages will be determined by the following: 

Course Grading    Exam 1      40%
Exam 2      40%
Essay      20%

The assignment of letter grades to one’s overall course average will be determined by the following rule: 

Score Grade
>= 93.0 A
90.0–92.9 A−
87.0–89.9 B+
83.0–86.9 B
80.0–82.9 B−
77.0–79.9 C+
73.0–76.9 C
< 73.0 F

Grades on a particular examination should always be viewed in a comparative light, and if a letter grade has been attached to the exam,
that letter grade indicates the position of the earned score on that exam within the ABCDF–grading system.
For further information on the graduate policy on grading, please see the Graduate School of Engineering Academic Policies and Procedures.

Academic Assistance.
Please see the Graduate Student Services page. The Graduate School of Engineering also provides a FAQ web page.
Academic honesty.
Conformity with the Code of Student Conduct and sanction information can be found in the Graduate School of Engineering Policies and Regulations.
The student is encouraged to study with other students, to share notes and ideas. All examinations, laboratory exercises, and other assignments, must be completed by the student alone. Examinations and quizzes administered in this class during previous quarters are not available for review by the student, and any student who reviews such will be considered to have violated the policies on academic honesty. Neither this nor any other form of academic dishonesty will be tolerated. In the frame below is Northeastern’s Academic Honesty and Integrity Policy:


If your browser does not accept inline frames, this is the link to the policy.