When Ricky Ghoshal was in his second year of undergraduate studies at McMaster University, his younger brother got sick with subacute sclerosing panencephalitis. This complication of measles is so rare that many of the doctors had never even heard of it, and there is no dedicated treatment for it. As Ghoshal got to know the doctors caring for his brother, he realized how much they were being held back — not by any lack of skill or knowledge, but by lack of access to cutting-edge treatments.
Water is not only essential to life, it’s also essential to manufacturing, mining, agriculture, oil extraction and a host of other industries. But industrial water use leads to waste water, often full of contaminants that make it unsuitable for reuse, costly to dispose and harmful to the environment. British Columbia’s Saltworks Technologies is one of a growing number of biotechnology companies that are working to reduce the volume of waste water being generated by industry. In addition to commercializing its existing industrial desalination and brine-treatment technologies, Saltworks also conducts extensive research and development to build the next generation of waste water technologies.
Chelsea Lobson and Lake Winnipeg go way back. Her grandparents’ cottage in Matlock, Manitoba, gave her the opportunity to spend time in and around the lake — and was part of what inspired her to pursue biology and environmental science at the University of Manitoba. Those passions soon led her to the Lake Winnipeg Foundation, which used BioTalent Canada’s Career Focus Green Jobs wage-subsidy program to hire her as a Program Coordinator overseeing its Lake Winnipeg Community-Based Monitoring Network (LWCBMN).
When biochemicals company Origin Materials started in California in 2008, it sought to unlock the potential of furan chemistry: a process that can create plastics from sustainable and renewable biomass like wood chips and cardboard instead of the petroleum products traditionally used for polymer manufacturing. But for Origin to grow, it first needed to show that its innovative method was commercially viable at a large scale. Its demonstration plant in Sarnia, Ontario, was designed to do just that — and to do it right, the company needed qualified workers who could hit the ground running, learn on the go and get the new plant operational.
Young people are playing an instrumental role in developing the future of the bio-economy, and work to bring in more is necessary and welcome, according to a leader at an industry accelerator. Bioenterprise Corporation, a publicly funded non-profit business accelerator, facilitates the creation, growth and commercialization of agri-technology companies ranging from start-ups to established businesses. It offers a range of services from business analysis and consulting to events that showcase and highlightthe sector.
Two new initiatives that benefit the environment might not exist were it not for BioTalent Canada, according to a senior executive at a biological supply and research company in B.C. that initiated the programs. Rapidly growing Applied Biological Materials Inc. (ABM) hired interns through BioTalent Canada’s Science Horizons Program and had them focus on implementing new efforts to reduce packaging and waste both internally and among the company’s partners.
Chelsea is at the forefront of a growing movement of citizen scientists taking action in their communities. Her contributions to the Lake Winnipeg Foundation and the Lake Winnipeg Community- Based Monitoring Network are connecting like-minded water stewards across Manitoba – building our collective understanding of our local waterways in order to address Lake Winnipeg’s most pressing challenges. She is an ideal recipient for the 2018 MAGNUS Catalyst Award for Top New Hire.
Meet Alysha Law. Advocating for the legally blind to connect them with technology that allows them to actually see.
I chose a career in biotech because... I am extremely interested in the way the field uses biology to create innovative solutions. I was drawn towards eSight specifically because it develops innovative technology to serve humanity and level the playing field for those with low vision.
I chose a career in biotech because... it is a challenging field that gives us countless valuable products if we utilize it in a proper way. I see a great potential in this field. In near future, biotech will reach a point where mobile devices will act as personal health-assistants. I always want to be a part of creating an application that will help many reach their health goals by tracking and monitoring their bio-data.
I chose a career in biotech because... biotech allows my interest and education in mechanical engineering to be used for products that will directly impact people in a positive way. The medical devices that I am involved with help both patients and doctors by making tissue-sample removal quicker and safer.