Helping Companies Navigate Drug Development Challenges


"I first met Mike in 1993, when I was a wide-eyed graduate student intern excited to be working in the pharmaceutical industry. After completing a very comprehensive veterinary curriculum at Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine (TUSVM); I was gearing up to embark on a PhD in Pharmacology/Toxicology at Florida A&M University. For over 18+ years, Mike has proven to be a valuable mentor. As a postdoc at the University of Michigan Mental Health Research Institute he helped me navigate professionally on many levels. As my career matriculated through the pharmaceutical Discovery Research and Toxicology arenas; his maturity and knowledge always complemented what I learned in these universities. He also provided clear understanding of the academic and professional successes needed to earn a competitive career in toxicology. Even today his mentorship and friendship is much appreciated. Mike has made it his personal goal to cultivate rising scientists across many historical black colleges and universities. As his career evolves he always finds time to share key life learning's by giving back as a mentor."
- Tiffini Brabham, D.V.M., Ph.D., Associate Research Fellow, Massachusetts Global Safety Pharmacology Lead, Pfizer Global Research & Development, Cambridge, MA

"Michael has been a trusted adviser of mine for my professional career since my first opportunity to interact with him at Pfizer in Genetic Toxicology. Since then I have entrusted him with my continued educational care by asking him to be on my PhD Thesis Committee in Toxicology at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health. Michael's knowledge and understanding of Academia, Industry and Toxicology have been extremely helpful to me and reaching my goals."
- Todd Festerling, M.S., Ph.D. Candidate, School of Public Health, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

"Mike has been instrumental in helping 3D Biomatrix strategize the different applications of our 3D cell culture products as we entered the pharmaceutical market. He is always responsive, even to the point of providing in-person support at out-of-state presentations to our potential investors. His in-depth knowledge of the pharma market repeatedly helps us as we move forward as a company."
- Laura Schrader, Chief Executive Officer, 3D Biomatrix, Ann Arbor, MI

"Mike has an extensive background in preclinical drug development with strengths in program strategy and design, risk assessment, the application of technology and people management. Mike had a strong influence on me throughout my career with Pfizer, including my start with the company as a molecular biologist within his division of Preclinical Safety. Mike’s willingness to embrace technology routinely enabled the group to take novel approaches with respect to understanding the mechanism of toxicities, as well as translational biomarker strategy, thereby enabling progression of the portfolio. He was instrumental as I began to participate on drug development teams as well, helping me understand the fundamentals of program design taking into account the risk-benefit profiles associated with different therapeutic areas and how this affected the strategy. Mike is a creative thinker with a broad skill set and his willingness to coach me has been invaluable to my career development."
- Tage Carlson, Ph.D. Senior Research Toxicologist, Abbott Laboratories, Chicago, IL

"Dr. Michael Bleavins has done an exemplary job teaching immunotoxicology and respiratory system (pulmonary) toxicology as an Adjunct Professor in our introductory graduate course in toxicology. Always the consummate professional, Mike delivers great lectures backed up with complete handouts and expertly crafted exam questions. His wealth of practical experience provides students with real-world examples that are most welcome. It is always a pleasure working with Mike, and we are highly fortunate to have him on our team."
- Rudy Richardson, Ph.D., Dow Professor of Toxicology, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

"Mike established the first clinical genotyping laboratory at Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis. He and his colleagues in pharma were the first to put high-throughput SNPing into routine use predicting its usefulness in prescribing ‘the right drug at the right dose’- the beginnings of modern personalized medicine. His group worked closely with academic researchers and clinicians to provide pharmacogenetic support for a wide range of clinical trials, before this type of support was common in the pharmaceutical industry. Following the merger of Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis with Pfizer, I joined Mike’s group and together we expanded the laboratory to perform protocol-driven genetic testing across multiple therapeutic areas and global clinical locations. To his credit, the development of many of Pfizer’s most promising medicines was enabled by genotyping performed in our regulated laboratories. Mike was one of the first to understand and communicate what would be required to integrate pharmacogenomics and RNA/DNA-based biomarkers into these studies, the challenges physicians can face in explaining genetic markers to institutional review boards and patients, protection of patient confidentiality, and how these data can enhance a drug development program. Perhaps most rewarding for me was seeing that clinical trial support services and novel research approaches often can be combined to make mechanistic decisions on a molecule, as well as entire programs. Mike helped our group see the critical role we provided and the realities of making DNA testing part of a compound’s journey to the patient."
- Joseph Paulauskis, Ph.D., Chief Research Officer, International Genomics Consortium, Phoenix, AZ

"I reported to Mike while I was Head of Investigative Pathology at the Pfizer site in Ann Arbor MI and we have maintained contact since that time. I have always found Mike to be extremely knowledgeable about the drug development and very creative in solving regulatory issues. Mike has an honest and straight forward approach to dealing with people and situations that is based on how to solve the problem rather than giving the answer a client may want to hear. I can give him my highest recommendation."
- Robert Dunstan, D.V.M, Ph.D., Distinguished Investigator, Biogen-Idec, Cambridge, MA

“Michael is one of the best people I have ever had the opportunity to interact with when it comes to safety and toxicity. He is a rare breed understanding identifying the issues and then knowing what is required to get the job done. He is not afraid to take risks.”
- David Lester, Ph.D., Program Director, Monash University, Victoria, Australia

“Michael Bleavins is a highly skilled scientist who consistently delivers excellence in biomarker development and conduct of clinical and nonclinical trials. He has a wealth of experience in managing programs and people and has been a key contributor to the development of numerous compounds. He offers a proactive approach to issue resolution. He has a solid work ethic and consistently delivers on commitments. I highly recommend Michael Bleavins for his expansive knowledge, innovation, and product delivery.”
- Kay A. Criswell, Ph.D., DABT, Executive Director, Pfizer, Groton, CT

"I have worked with Michael for many years, most recently as a consultant in drug development. He has a deep knowledge of the drug development process with a focus on bridging preclinical to clinical development. He is very collaborative and open in his communication. He has a great ability to act as a sounding board and guide companies in their strategy for progressing a compound through the drug-development process."
- Elizabeth A. Garofalo, Global Head Neuroscience Franchise, Novartis, Basel, Switzerland