Redefining Education in the Biosciences

An Innovation Pipeline

A major contribution from Karen Linde Packman ’88 and Jeff Packman ’88 will support programs to prepare future generations of innovators, strengthen partnerships with renowned research institutions, and create a rigorous, inclusive academic experience on the leading edge of discovery.

The initiatives funded by this gift will establish a pipeline for ambitious and talented students from all backgrounds to pursue College-funded research, internship, and global opportunities to prepare for careers in biotechnology, biomedicine, ocean sciences, genomics, and bioinformatics.

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The Linde Packman Lab for Biosciences Innovation

Through the Linde Packman Lab for Biosciences Innovation, students will receive College funding to support their summer or January term research and internship experiences, which opens those opportunities for students who may not otherwise be able to pursue them.

This funding will allow Colby to expand its connections to leading research institutions, broaden its network of companies that are innovating in the biosciences, and offer students funding to pursue internships to prepare them to make an impact in their fields.

Photo: Jocelyn Thomas ’16 works as a research assistant at The Jackson Laboratory, genotyping mouse DNA in glaucoma research.

“Experiences that you have here as a Colby student, whether it be Jan Plan programs or summer student programs—anything like that is instrumental because it [offers] real-life lab experience.”

— Jocelyn Thomas ’16

Colby Achievement Program in the Sciences (CAPS)

Originally a pilot program through a Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant, CAPS helps students from under-resourced and traditionally underrepresented groups prepare for the rigorous study of the natural sciences and provides them with a support system for when they experience challenges.

CAPS students spend six weeks with faculty in the classroom and Colby’s laboratories the summer before their first year. Since CAPS began, there has been a marked increase in African-American, Latino/Latina, and Native American majors in the sciences, and their average grade point averages have climbed.

The program now serves as a model for colleges and universities working to address issues of persistence in the sciences.

The Packmans’ gift will support this program in perpetuity, to ensure students from all backgrounds have what they need to pursue careers in the sciences.

Photo: Sydnie Boykins ’19 is a biology major with a concentration in neuroscience. She was a member of CAPS and a Bunche and a Champlin Scholar.

“I was invited to take part in the CAPS program. That was the make or break factor for me [to attend Colby], because Colby was the only school that offered something like that.”

— Sydnie Boykins ’19

Champlin Scholars Research Program

The Champlin Scholars program is named in honor of Leslie Brainerd Arey Professor of Biosciences Emeritus Art Champlin, who collaborated with The Jackson Laboratory for decades and was a mentor to Jeff Packman ’88 during his student years at Colby.

The Packman gift funds this program in perpetuity to ensure research and internship opportunities at outstanding Maine research institutions—The Jackson Laboratory, Mt. Desert Biological Laboratory, and the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences—for Colby students.

Video: Sydney Greenlee ’20, a Champlin Scholar at Bigelow Laboratory, is studying the effects of climate change on the Gulf of Maine.

“Whenever I see the ocean, it reminds me of why I started down the road of becoming a marine scientist.”

— Sydney Greenlee ’20

CAPS students conducting research on Allen during the summer of 2017. CAPS students conducting research on Allen Island in 2017.

“We are honored to be able to support such critical and innovative programs at Colby. We are acutely aware of the disparate access to educational opportunities that exist in the biosciences.

We are proud that Colby is setting itself apart from its peers in its dedication to ensuring academic support, options, and funding for all students who wish to pursue careers in the field.”

— Karen Linde Packman ’88 and Jeff Packman ’88

“This is a golden age for the biosciences. It is essential that we draw on the talents of this generation of students to lead the way in scientific research and the innovation that emerges from that work.

The Packmans’ vision and generosity will strengthen the pipeline of scientific leaders by making Colby a place where students can benefit from the best of the liberal arts tradition while also having access to the instrumentation, infrastructure, and large-scale scientific collaboration available through the world’s leading research laboratories.”

— President David A. Greene

“We’re very excited to be able to create a network of opportunities and collaborations for our students with our own bioscience faculty at Colby and with world-class research institutions—some of which happen to be here in Maine.

With this extraordinarily generous funding, all of this can be orchestrated to provide unique, innovative, and rich experiences for our students in the most groundbreaking fields in the biosciences.”

— Andrea Tilden, J. Warren Merrill Associate Professor of Biology and Inaugural Director, Linde Packman Lab for Biosciences Innovation

About Karen Linde Packman ’88 and Jeff Packman ’88

Karen Linde Packman has extensive nonprofit and philanthropic board experience, including founding trustee of a private foundation with interests in medical research, social services, and other issues.

She is a trustee of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, a member of the joint Boston Children’s Hospital/Dana-Farber Cancer Institute board, and chair of the Colby College Museum of Art’s Board of Governors.

A biology major at Colby, Jeff Packman is chief development officer for Clementia Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he advances rare disease therapeutic candidates through clinical development.

Previously, he led drug development efforts for other companies, including Apofore Corporation and FoldRx Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Packman is a member of the Basic Science Visiting Committee at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and is currently vice chair of Colby’s Board of Trustees.

About Andrea Tilden

Andrea Tilden is the J. Warren Merrill Associate Professor of Biology at Colby College and the inaugural director of the Linde Packman Lab for Biosciences Innovation.

She was a founding faculty member of the CAPS program, and she has been instrumental in developing opportunities for Colby students in genomics at The Jackson Laboratory, including a January-term course funded through the Champlin Scholars program since 2015.

Tilden also helped develop Colby’s program in computational biology, making Colby one of the only liberal arts colleges with that academic major.