Michael Raleigh is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology. He received his BS degree with distinction from the University of Minnesota in 2006. He worked at a small biotech company in Chaska MN before pursuing his PhD. His professional training began in graduate school at the University of Minnesota in the laboratory of Dr. Paul Pentel studying the efficacy of heroin and oxycodone vaccines to block opioid-induced effects. During this time, he collaborated with Dr. Benito Anton (National Institute of Psychiatry, Mexico), studying the efficacy of their heroin vaccine. Due to the rise of the opioid epidemic and the potential application of these vaccines as treatments for opioid addiction, he continued his postdoctoral work at Hennepin Healthcare Research Institute studying the behavioral effects of these vaccines. He currently works alongside Dr. Marco Pravetoni at UMN to lead IND-enabling studies for use of opioid vaccines in clinical studies. His independent research interest focuses on countermeasures to reduce opioid toxicity and overdose.
Opioid use has increased markedly over the years, leading to an opioid epidemic in the US. Furthermore, because fentanyl and fentanyl analogs are easy to manufacture and are extremely potent, they are increasingly found in adulterated counterfeit medications and illicit drugs, leading to an increase in opioid toxicity and overdose deaths in the US. Dr. Raleigh's research interest is in studying therapies to treat opioid use disorders and toxicity related to their use. These therapies include vaccines, monoclonal antibodies, and small molecule interventions. Combining these various interventions, along with currently approved therapies, could improve outcomes for patients seeking treatment for an opioid use disorder or help prevent or reverse opioid-induced toxicity and overdose.
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