Libin International Trainee Symposium

Women’s Cardiovascular Health Initiative

This year, 70,000 Canadians will have a heart attack. Despite men being affected twice as often as women, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for women in Canada, claiming a life every 20 minutes. Globally, one in three women will die as a result of heart disease or stroke. Untold others have diminished quality of life from the impact of kidney disease, hypertension and diabetes on cardiovascular health and wellness.

The Libin Institute recognized a need for a formal program in cardiovascular health that focuses on sex and gender. A core building block in this program is the Libin International Trainee Symposium: Research is Better with Sex and Gender!, made possible through the generous support of CP.

Libin International Trainee Symposium

The Libin Cardiovascular Institute was pleased to invite 72 cardiovascular research trainees to the Libin International Trainee Symposium: Research is Better with Sex & Gender!, made possible through the generous support of CP. 

The event was held in the beautiful Canadian Rockies destination in Banff, Alberta, Canada on February 4-5, 2020. World-class experts on incorporating sex and gender considerations into research were on hand to provide coaching and insight. The trainees achieved the following objectives: 

  • To learn how to incorporate sex and gender considerations into the research process
  • To develop a concrete plan on integrating sex and gender considerations specifically into a current or proposed project
  • To network with an international group of promising interdisciplinary researchers in the cardiovascular sciences
  • To understand the funding and publication enterprises


On the first day, Dr. Roxana Mehran discussed how to integrate sex and gender considerations into planning, preparation, and study design. Her presentation was followed by Dr. Colleen Norris, who shed light on the implementation and data analysis techniques that have been developed and should be widely used in sex and gender consideration. Lastly, Dr. Sharon Mulvagh provided an overview of knowledge translation and how it important it is to consider sex and gender when translating research into applicable formats. In between each presentation, trainees were encouraged to work together, as a table, to incorporate what they learned into their research project. Each table was led by one of our Libin members.

On the second day, Dr. Sofia Ahmed, Dr. Jeanine Roeters van Lennep and Anne Simard gave presentations from Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), ZonMw and the Heart and Stroke Foundation on how funders have incorporated sex and gender considerations into their process and what to consider when applying for their opportunities. Following those presentations, the trainees worked on their pitches for CP Research Prize 3-minute pitch sessions that occurred in the afternoon. Trainees were broken into groups, based on their pillar of research (biomedical, clinical, population or health service) and asked to present their 3-minute pitches on how they incorporated sex and gender into their current or proposed cardiovascular research projects. Once the pitches were complete, Dr. Roeters van Lennep gave a presentation on how sex and gender considerations should be integrated and analyzed in publication. To conclude the day, the winners of the five CP research prizes from the pitch competition were announced.

We want to thank everyone for their participation and enthusiasm! It was an incredible event!

About the Institute

The Libin Cardiovascular Institute at the Cumming School of Medicine is committed to changing the future of cardiovascular health. Our coalition of clinicians, staff and trainees is working collaboratively to advance prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disorders.