Nathan (Nate) Manley, Ph.D.


joined DHC in the spring of 2019

Preclinical and analytical development (with additional focus in R&D, writing regulatory documents, and manufacturing).
Constant learning/challenges: no two projects are the same but we have a rich collective past experience to rely on.

I love working with clients at varying stages of developing therapeutics; it’s fun and exciting to understand where they want to go and being able to see, in my head, the road map necessary to get them there. It’s also fascinating to work with people with deep experience in products that aren’t C&GT and learning from them at the same time that I’m streamlining their CG&T learning curve.

Human embryonic stem cells
Human embryonic stem cells imaged using epiflorescence. Cells are fluorescently labeled to show their cytoskeleton (green), nuclei (blue), and expression of the pluripotency marker, SOX2 (magenta).

I was equally drawn to both science and the visual arts until a school trip to Fred Hutchinson’s Cancer Research Institute cemented my professional direction. Seeing science conducted in such a team-based effective manner with everyone working together towards a common goal…it really spoke to me, and that’s when I knew: the industry side of science was it for me. I also realized that I wanted to reach this path via grad school and postdoc training.

After walking my kids to school I split my days between direct client support (sometimes onsite, sometimes virtual) and DHC internal needs. I’ve discovered that a good way to achieve work-life balance, especially when our clients are worldwide, means slotting in family togetherness wherever it fits, and I love that opportunity.

The neat thing about my postdoc lab was that it had a mini-industry feel to it. At Stanford I was given the opportunity to run a preclinical/pre-IND program in the neurosurgery department, so picture a bunch of academics in the room, wrestling with what needed to get done, and then picture adding in a ton of available talent after a nearby company had shut its doors. Together, we had the skills…but we needed guidance, and so we brought consultants in. That’s how I got the chance to first work with Anthony [Dark Horse’s CEO].

I firmly believe that preclinical work will benefit from a need-based structural change; that instead of the traditionally linear “bench side research -> bedside medicine” concept, the industry can and should take a more contemporary circular approach. Biomedical science is now beginning to recognize the value and relevancy that comes from defining the patient need and researching accordingly. My paper on this ( written in tandem with our COO, Katy Spink) was published in late 2019.

My mixed-medium art, in which I bridge digital and non-digital visuals while also bridging visual art and science. Sometimes I draw; sometimes I explore what you could almost call “found art,” such as a series of microscopic visuals like the one shown above. I also teach at local Silicon Valley universities as a way to stay in tune with the next generation of industry leaders, tying the latest knowledge to translational aspects of C&GT.

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