Finalists for the 2018 MAGNUS Catalyst Award for top new biotech hire announced

April 19, 2018, Ottawa – BioTalent Canada today announced the three finalists for the 2018 MAGNUS Catalyst Award for Top New Hire. The three finalists are:

David Ness, Health and Safety Specialist, ERA Environmental Management, Montreal, QC
Chelsea Lobson, Community-Based Monitoring Coordinator, Lake Winnipeg Foundation, Winnipeg, MB
David Rowbotham, Senior Research Technologist, STEMCELL Technologies, Vancouver, BC
Over 1,400 new hires have been subsidized by BioTalent Canada programs since 2005. In that time, employer feedback on the contribution of these young workers has been overwhelmingly positive. The annual MAGNUS Catalyst Award was created in 2015 to recognize the employers who invest in young talent and the dedicated young people, hired through wage subsidies.

“Congratulations to these young professionals who are passionate about biotech and innovating to help their biotech employers achieve success,” says Jacqueline Flinker, CEO of MAGNUS Personnel. “We are extremely proud to be supporting this initiative.”

“Seeing the passion and initiative in this young biotech talent is inspiring,” says Rob Henderson, President and CEO of BioTalent Canada. “Telling their stories in starting their biotech careers is extremely rewarding as is knowing they are having such a positive impact on their employers.”

David Ness
Health and Safety Specialist, ERA Environmental Management
David exemplifies the values of ERA and acts as a mentor to help other new hires and team members to the importance of the corporate culture; in fact, his commitment to embracing new challenges and continuous learning has helped other team members to setup and take on projects outside their own comfort zones. David has been a leader and role model regarding new projects the team is working on– his attitude towards failures is that they are learning experiences and are actual learning opportunities. I have found it greatly beneficial to include David on projects because he helps set the tone for all the other team members in times of success and times when we hit road blocks. Instead of letting these moments get us down, David is able to shift our way of thinking to, “How can we solve this problem?” and “What can we learn from this obstacle?”

Chelsea Lobson
Community-Based Monitoring Coordinator, Lake Winnipeg Foundation (LWF)
Chelsea is an enthusiastic, passionate young scientist who is ready and willing to roll up her sleeves and do whatever task is required of her and under her leadership Lake Winnipeg Community-Based Monitoring Network (LWCBMN) greatly exceeded their 2017 objectives. Chelsea is at the forefront of a growing movement of citizen scientists taking action in their communities. Citizen science networks face multiple challenges. Accessing appropriate lab space and equipment can be costly. The time and expertise required to process collected samples can be overwhelming and unrealistic for volunteers. Chelsea overcame all of these challenges. Working closely with LWF’s nationally recognized science advisors, LWCBMN’s protocols have been designed to be compatible with those of provincial and federal programs, including programs in other countries. As a result, LWCBMN is producing robust, credible data which, in turn, is creating additional partnership opportunities – mostly notably with Agriculture Canada, which has offered the use of its equipment in its Morden, Manitoba-based lab where Chelsea is now processing LWCBMN’s samples.

David Rowbotham
Senior Research Technologist, STEMCELL Technologies
STEMCELL’s motto is “Scientists helping scientists,” and it is their mission to supply high quality innovative reagents to research labs around the world, facilitating discoveries in the life sciences. David is working on a team that develops tools that will enable prostate and breast cancer researchers to preform cutting edge research, and eventually guide medical oncologists in the treatment of cancer patients. David has a genuine passion for the science underlying the products that STEMCELL is developing, and the level of rigor that he incorporates into his experiments is labourious and impressive. Just when he has thought to have reached his limit on what he can take on, he surprises his supervisor by incorporating additional experiments to increase the quality of his data. The company also has a strong culture of collaboration, and in this regard, David is highly respected by his peers for his professionalism, positive attitude and creative thinking.

BioTalent Canada and award sponsor MAGNUS Personnel congratulate the finalists and salute the employers for hiring outstanding young talent.

The finalists were chosen among the many entries received and evaluated by an independent judging committee. The winner of the 2018 MAGNUS Catalyst Award will be awarded a cash prize of $1,000 and will be announced in early May.

Thanks to our partner and title sponsor

About BioTalent Canada
BioTalent Canada™ is the HR partner of Canada’s bio-economy. Our engagement with employers, associations, post-secondary institutions, immigrant serving agencies and service providers has built a dynamic network that is strengthening skills, connecting job-ready talent to industry and creating opportunities. Please visit for more information.

About MAGNUS Personnel
MAGNUS Personnel is a highly-specialized recruitment firm operating in the Medical, Clinical Research, Life Sciences, B2B Industrial and Technology sectors. More than 150 Companies trust us to locate and engage North America’s most talented people for their businesses. We do this with Vigor and with Passion. We are relentless. We are MAGNUS. Call (844) 8MA GNUS or visit

Media inquiries:
Siobhan Williams
Director, Marketing and Communications
BioTalent Canada
613-235-1402 ext. 229
[email protected]

Jacqueline Flinker
MAGNUS Personnel
[email protected]