Marilyn A. Huestis, PhD

2008 Award for Outstanding Contributions in a Selected Area of Research

Dr. Huestis is a tenured senior investigator and the chief of the chemistry and drug metabolism section of the clinical pharmacology and therapeutics research branch at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in Bethesda, Md.  She holds an adjunct associate professor appointment at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. She directs a large research program that seeks to discover the mechanisms of action of cannabinoid agonists and antagonists, the effects of in utero drug exposure, and the neurobiology and pharmacokinetics of MDMA (ecstasy). Dr. Huestis currently is the principal investigator of a phase I clinical study evaluating cognitive performance and related brain activation of acute and chronic cannabis exposure using functional magnetic resonance imaging. The study also investigates and contrasts spontaneous and antagonist-elicited cannabis withdrawal. Dr. Huestis was director of one of the first forensic urine drug testing laboratories among 150 applicants to be certified by NIDA. She serves on the World Anti-doping Agency’s Prohibited List Committee and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s Research Advisory Panel. Dr. Huestis is past president of the Society of Forensic Toxicologists, past chair of the Toxicology Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and the first woman president of the International Association of Forensic Toxicologists. She has published 145 peer-reviewed manuscripts, published numerous book chapters and monographs, and presented more than 220 abstracts at national and international meetings.