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McNair Scholar 2012Linli Fung

Linli Fung is a junior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, majoring in Chemistry and with a minor in Chinese.  Her interests revolve around drug development, specifically new medications to treat drug addiction.  Linli plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Pharmacology or a Pharm.D. after further exploring her areas of interest.

Linli Fung photo
My dream is to use my expertise, background, and interests to help others.  I want to discover and develop new drugs that can potentially help ill people that may not have had help available beforehand.

Research project

New Strategies to Treat Prescription Opioid Abuse

Abstract: Opiate addiction is a social and economic problem worldwide, however over the past two decades prescription opioid abuse drastically increased in the USA.  Treatment for opioid abuse is limited to a few approved medications, which exhibit limited clinical efficacy. Recently, vaccines against drugs of abuse have shown evidence of clinical efficacy. An oxycodone vaccine has shown promise as a potential treatment targeting oxycodone and hydrocodone, the most commonly abused prescription opioids. The goal of this study is to test if naltrexone attenuates oxycodone and hydrocodone behavioral effects and if naltrexone may be combined with vaccination against oxycodone. In this study, we show that naltrexone dose-dependently blocks the behavioral effects of oxycodone and hydrocodone in a test of thermal nociception in rats, and that naltrexone may be combined with the oxycodone vaccine to increase its efficacy. Vaccines may be used in combination with addiction medications to increase overall clinical efficacy. Download poster. [PDF]

Faculty profile

Marco Pravetoni is an assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Minnesota.  Dr. Pravetoni received his Ph.D. in Pharmacology in 2008, from the University of Minnesota.  His research focuses on the development of novel medications to treat prescription opioid abuse.  Dr. Pravetoni has published in multiple peer-review research journals and has presented his work at conferences worldwide.