Meet Our Team

Dr. Rock J. Mancini

Founder | Astante Therapeutics Inc.

Rock began his training at the University of Pittsburgh where he obtained a B.S. in Polymer Chemistry performing research in the lab of Toby Chapman. He then completed his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at UCLA where he worked with Heather Maynard studying protein-polymer conjugates. During this time, he was a fellow in the NSF-IGERT training program which focused on developing experience with multidisciplinary research. Following his Ph.D., Rock continued his multidisciplinary research experience during his postdoctoral studies in Synthetic Immunology at UC Irvine in the lab of Aaron Esser-Kahn. Here he investigated the effect of inter-immunostimulant proximity on immune cell activation and developed the first light-responsive small-molecule immunostimulants. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Washington State University, where his current research targets the action of immunostimulants to stimuli present in various disease states, such as the unique fingerprint of proteins expressed in the drug-resistant tumor microenvironment.

Dr. Amy E. Nielsen

Founder | Astante Therapeutics Inc.

Amy started her training in the lab of Nicola Pohl at Iowa State University, where she conducted research in the strategic synthesis of custom carbohydrates for solid-phase polysaccharide synthesis and obtained a dual B.S. in Chemistry and Botany. She then obtained her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at UCLA working in the lab of Miguel Garcia-Garibay studying the solid-state photochemistry of nanocrystalline suspensions. After furthering her training as a Keck Fellow at Loyola Marymount University, she joined the faculty in the Department of Chemistry at Washington State University. Her current research focuses on targeting immunotherapeutic prodrugs to the aberrant metabolism of multidrug-resistant cancers.

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