MDI Biological Laboratory
General News

An Indelible Impression Leads to Giving Back

  • June 3, 2020

“What better way to show support for an organization that was so formative in my life than by ensuring that the next generation of students can have a similarly impactful experience.”

Chris Sighinolfi   Alumnus ’01-’04, Trustee ’18


Chris Sighinolfi credits his time at the MDI Biological Laboratory with leaving an indelible mark on his worldview. “It was an experience that challenged my thinking, broadened my perspective and reinforced the importance of having an open, curious mind,” says Sighinolfi. He has chosen to give back to the laboratory as a donor and trustee in recognition of the profound impact it has had on his life.

Sighinolfi, who grew up in Brewer, Maine, came to the MDI Biological Laboratory as a high school fellow in 2001, where he worked with Drs. Franklin H. Epstein and Patricio Silva. He spent four consecutive summers at the laboratory, two as a high school student and two as an undergraduate. While Sighinolfi ultimately pursued a career outside of science, he credits his time at the MDI Biological Laboratory with having taught him invaluable life lessons. “It was a defining experience,” says Sighinolfi. “I learned a great deal about life, friendship and being passionate about what you do.”

So deep was the impression of his time at the laboratory that Sighinolfi has chosen to give back as a donor and trustee to help ensure that the next generation has access to the same hands-on learning opportunities that he did. “The MDI Biological Laboratory is a place that fosters exploration, education and excellence,” says Sighinolfi. “The lab’s objectives include helping to build the Maine economy by developing a 21st-century science and technology workforce. By leading the Maine INBRE, a collaborative statewide network of educational and research institutions, the MDI Biological Laboratory is positioned to be a catalyst for the growth of our next generation of leaders.”

“Our education programs are vitally important to training the next generation of scientists, physicians and business leaders and to building a strong economy here in Maine,” says Hermann Haller, M.D., president of the MDI Biological Laboratory. “Chris’ deep connection to Maine and his experience as a former summer fellow uniquely qualify him to assist us in strengthening these programs.”