Mike Espiritu, PhD

Assistant Professor
HPC2 481
Areas I Teach 

Educational History

Mike Espiritu, PhD received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Hawaii Pacific University, HI in 2011 and completed his PhD degree in Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering from the University of Hawaii, HI in May 2017. He completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship with the Pacific University School of Pharmacy from July 2017-2019.

Postdoctoral Fellowship--Pacific University
PhD--University of Hawaii
BS--Hawaii Pacific University

Practice/Research Interests

My research interest is in the discovery and development of novel inhibitors of targets related to pain and disease. Particularly I have focused on studying small venom-derived peptides, known as conotoxins, which have a level of selectivity for a variety of ion channels. Many of these ion channels appear to play a role in pain pathways, making them attractive targets for the relief of severe or intractable pain. My goal is to harness the properties of these peptides to one day produce analgesics for severe forms of pain that are non-addictive.


For more information, please review Dr. Espiritu's CV.

In addition, more information can be found at Research Gate.

Outside the Lab

My hobbies include hiking, swimming, tennis, yoga, and community outreach.


Mikel Espiritu and Pres. Leseley Hallick

Michael Espiritu has received the Pacific University Provost’s Junior Faculty Award for Scholarship.

The grant will support Dr. Mike Espiritu’s work to determine the structure-activity relationship of a cone snail toxin called MIIIB with voltage gated potassium channels. These small peptide toxins are known as “conotoxins.”