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Libin Cardiovascular Institute Trainee Organization (LCITO)

The LCITO exists to bring together trainees within the Libin Cardiovascular Institute 

Get involved with the LCITO and stay up to date on events, resources and opportunities for trainees within the Libin Cardiovascular Institute. 

This student-led group organizes journal clubs, the Libin Institute's Research Update Seminar Series, mock defense seminars and social events. Get involved with this organization by reaching out to LCITO lead Jessica Wager at

For more information about trainee opportunities within the Libin Cardiovascular Institute, contact Libin Operations Coordinator Amanda Wagner at or Education Director Dr. Satish Raj at

LCITO leadership team standing in a row

We are so pleased to welcome the new LCITO executive team (left to right): Elise Rougier, social/communications lead, Rashmin Hira, education lead, Carmina Albertine Isidoro, vice president, Jessica Wager, president, Brandon Pattar, community outreach lead, and Chantal Rytz, past president.

Dawn Smith

Featured events

There are numerous resources available to trainees within the Libin Cardiovascular Institute. Please see below for a number of opportunities.


The Institute offers numerous scholarships for all levels of trainees. Please visit this page for the details and application forms. 

*Please note completion of the CIHR's Online Training Modules: Integrating Sex & Gender in Health Research is a requirement for Libin Institute funding and scholarships. 



The Libin Trainee Excellence in Research Award recognized trainees's publication success. If you are a first author for a peer-reviewed publication, you are eligible. Learn more here

The Libin Cardiovascular Institute (LCI) Travel Award is intended to help offset costs for LCI trainees travelling to national and international conferences. Learn more here.


Tine Haworth Research Day

The Libin Cardiovascular Institute's annual Tine Haworth Cardiovascular Research Day highlights cardiovascular research being undertaken by trainees. It features a poster competition and scientific talks, as well as the E.R. Smith Lecture. Learn more here.


Learning Opportunities

There are numerous learning opportunities for trainees within the Libin Cardiovascular Institute. For more details, visit this page


Meet the LCITO Leadership Team




Chantal Rytz, past president of LCITO

Chantal Rytz

Chantal Rytz is a MD/PhD candidate under the supervision of Dr. Sofia Ahmed and Dr. Paul Ronksley. Her research focuses on the cardiovascular implications of gender-affirming hormone therapy use in transgender women. She is the past president of LCITO. 



Jessica Wager, president of LCITO

Jessica Wager

Jessica Wager is a PhD student in the lab of Dr. Jennifer Thompson. She studies the physiological mechanisms that underlie mesenchymal stem cell recruitment in adipose tissue and the molecular pathway that mediates crosstalk between adipocytes and adipocyte progenitors. She is the president of LCITO.


Carmina Albertine Isidoro, vice-president of LCITO

Carmina Albertine Isidoro

Carmina Albertine Isidoro is a masters student in the lab of Dr. Justin Deniset. Her research explores the role of pericardial macrophages in mesothelial-to-mesenchymal transition - a process believed to be implicated in excessive scar formation after a heart attack. She is the vice-president of the LCITO.


Elise Rougier, social and communications lead for LCITO

Elise Rougier

Elise Rougier is a masters student in Dr. Robert Rose’s lab. Her research studies atrial fibrillation in hypertensive heart disease and is currently investigating whether C-type natriuretic peptide protects against this pathology. She is the social and communications lead of LCITO.


Brandon Pattar, LCITO Community Outreach Lead

Brandon Pattar

Brandon Pattar is a CIHR-funded masters student in the lab of Dr. Sofia Ahmed, MD, and Dr. Tyrone Harrison, MD, PhD. His research focuses on the link between cardiovascular health and the use of gender affirming hormone therapy in the transgender and gender diverse population. Brandon is the LCITO’s Community Outreach Lead.

Rashmin Hira, education lead for LCITO

Rashmin Hira

Rashmin Hira is a master's student in the Cardiovascular and Respiratory Sciences program. She works under the supervision of Dr. Satish Raj where she researches Long-Covid and autonomic nervous system dysfunction. Rashmin is the education lead for LCITO.