Principal Investigator


Rock Mancini

(Click Here for CV)

Bio: Rock was born and raised in Hampton, a sleepy suburb in the North Hills of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. He received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh where he performed research with Toby Chapman. From there, he ventured to Los Angeles in search of warmer climates. He received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry researching as a NSF-IGERT fellow in the lab of Heather Maynard at UCLA. After a short postdoctoral stint at the University of California, Irvine with Aaron Esser-Kahn, Rock is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at Washington State University. Link to faculty website.

Interests: Rowing, Rocketry, and Rabbits.

Favorite Quote: "First get your facts straight, then you can distort them at your leisure." -Mark Twain

Clinical Assistant Professor


Amy Nielsen

(Click Here for CV)

Bio: Amy was born and raised in Rockford Illinois, home to Cheap Trick and the Rockford Peaches. (She was not a part of either group) She received a double B.S. in Chemistry and Botany from Iowa State University, where she performed research with Nikki Pohl and Walt Trahanovsky. Following her childhood dream of learning to surf, she went to California where she received her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry, researching solid-state photochemistry with Miguel Garcia-Garibay at UCLA. After a few teaching stints as an adjunct, she discovered her love of teaching organic chemistry at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and hasn’t looked back ever since. Amy is now a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Executive Secretary of the Faculty Senate, both at Washington State University.

Interests: Surfing, Art (observing and creating), and Bunny Rabbits.

Favorite Quote: "America is all about speed. Hot, nasty, badass speed.” -Eleanor Roosevelt, 1936

Graduate Students


Anthony Burt


Bio: Anthony was born and raised in the Bay Area of California. He received his B.S in Chemistry from San Francisco State University where he performed research with Marc Anderson. After graduating from SFSU, he was accepted to Washington State University where he now works as a researcher under Rock Mancini. Anthony is interested in synthetic organic chemistry and his research is focused on exploiting biological systems for the targeted release of therapeutics.

Interests: Sailing, camping, and small engines

Favorite Quote: "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein

Maryam Davaritouchaee


Bio: Maryam received her bachelor and master degree in applied chemistry with honors from the University of Tehran, Iran. Her B.S. project was related to the wastewater treatment plant, and during her M.S., she performed research about Fischer–Tropsch process. She got accepted into the Ph.D. Chemical Engineering program from Washington State University, and to advance her research, and broaden her knowledge in organic chemistry and Chemical synthesis, she reached out to Dr. Mancini’s lab. Maryam Current research is oxidizing lignin and lignin model compounds selectively by some reactive oxygen species.

Interests: Watching movies, reading novels, Traveling, Adventure, Playing games

Favorite Quote: “Let the beauty of what you love be what you do”



Austin Ryan


Bio: Austin was born and raised in a small town in southeastern Kansas. He received his B.A. in Chemistry from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa. After graduation, he promptly decided to evacuate the Midwest and join the Mancini Group at WSU in pursuit of his PhD in Organic Chemistry.

Interests: Hiking, Music, Beer

Favorite Quote: “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy” – Tom Waits



Aaron Hendricksen

Bio: Aaron was Born and raised in Melbourne Florida on the Space Coast. He Graduated from from the University of South Florida in with a B.S. in Chemistry Where he conducted Research with Dr. Bill J. Baker in Marine Natural Products Chemistry. In August 2018, He joined Dr. Rock Mancini's Lab at Washington State University conducting research on α,ω-Heterotelechelic Polymers.

Interests: Music, Nature, and Composition

Quote: "There is no such thing as an empty space or an empty time. There is always something to see, something to hear. In fact, try as we may to make a silence, we cannot." -John Cage


Additional Lab Members


Alison Haymaker


Bio: Alison is an undergraduate student studying biochemistry and history at WSU. She transferred here after her first year of college and started researching the same time. She was born and raised in Washington state, born in Spokane and raised in a suburb of Vancouver. She looks forward to graduation Fall 2018 and plans of going to graduate school, although not sure yet where.

Interests: Baseball, baking, and crafting

Favorite Quote: “You must do the thing you think you cannot do”

-Eleanor Roosevelt

Mona Janbozorgi

Bio: Mona received her B.S degree in Biomedical Engineering in Iran where she was born and raised. She continued her studies in the M.S program in Austria before coming to the USA. Working in the imaging department of the hospital as a clinical engineer made her enthusiastic to learn about nuclear medicine and drugs’ biochemical mechanism in the body, then she decided to pursue her education in the field of pharmacy and completed two years of pre-pharmacy in WSU.  Mona joined Dr. Mancini’s research lab in WSU as an undergraduate student to have hands-on experience in drug development before applying to pharmacy school.

Interests: Acrylic Painting, Playing Violin, Traveling

Favorite Quote: "Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can be achieved"

Alec Palander


Bio: A Seattle native, Alec is an undergraduate at Washington State University studying chemistry, set to graduate in spring of 2019. He is an officer on the WSU Wrestling team where he competes at a national level, although he’d rather be in lab than at practice. He joined Mancini Group to get exposure to the research atmosphere for his career. Alec is going to enroll in dental school in the fall of 2020 where he hopes to apply his experience to research in the dental field.

Interests: Outdoors, art and helping people.

Favorite Quote: “It’s better to burn out than to fade away.”

-Neil Young


Andrew Staten


Bio: Andrew is an undergraduate studying Chemistry with the overall goal to attend Pharmacy school at WSU- Spokane and to become a Nuclear Pharmacist. He is excited to be a part of the Mancini lab and learn different organic techniques.


Interest: Baseball, Bowling, Golf


Quote: “Why not be great” –Anonymous



Former Students


Amanda Fairbanks (University of Washington Pharmacy School)

Madison Soth (M.S. Washington State University)

Timothy Strayer (M.S. Ball State University)

Anyway "Brenda" Kapingidza (Ph.D. Candidate South Carolina State University)

Amy Johnson (B.S. Washington State University)

Christopher Miller (B.S. Washington State University)

Girard Watson (B.S. Washington State University)

Nicholas Webb (B.S. Washington State University)