Marilyn Huestis, AB, MS, PhD



Doctor honoris causa Medicine and Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland - 2010

PhD, Toxicology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD - 1992

MS, Clinical Chemistry, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque, NM - 1979

BA, Biochemistry, Physiology, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA - 1970 


Research Interest


Effects of in utero drug exposure

The neurobiology & pharmacokinetics of novel psychoactive substances


Distinguished Service to Safety Award, National Safety Council, AACC’s Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award - 2021

Alexander O. Gettler Award, Toxicology Section, American Academy of Forensic Sciences - 2021

Robert F. Borkenstein Award, Alcohol, Drugs & Impairment Division, National Safety Council. - 2018

Marian W. Fischman Lectureship Award, The College on Problems of Drug Dependence - 2016

Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences - 2015

Distinguished Visiting Scholar, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia - 2012

Clinical Chemistry “Inspiring Mind” - 2011

Alan Curry Award, The International Association of Forensic Toxicologists (TIAFT) Lifetime Achievement Award for Service to the Organization and Contributions to Forensic Toxicology - 2010

Award for Outstanding Contributions in a Selected Area of Research, American Association for Clinical Chemistry - 2008

Irving Sunshine Award, International Association of Therapeutic Drug Monitoring and Clinical Toxicology - 2007

Women in Science at NIH - 2007

Rolla N. Harger Award, Toxicology Section, American Academy of Forensic Sciences  - 2005


Dr. Marilyn Huestis was the former Chief of Chemistry and Drug Metabolism at the National Institute of Health’s National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Intramural Research Program (IRP) where she conducted controlled drug administration studies. She is a toxicologist studying the effects of illicit drugs and licit pharmacotherapies on cognition, physiology, motor control, and in utero. Her current research interests are on cannabinoid agonists and antagonists, mitragynine, psilocybin, the neurobiology of novel psychoactive substances, effects of drugs on human performance, in utero drug exposure, and the analysis of drugs and metabolites in a wide variety of biological fluids and tissues. Her doctoral research focused on cannabis (marijuana), and she went on to study a wide range of illicit drugs, including cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy, and heroin and methadone and buprenorphine. Dr. Huestis served on the National Commission on Forensic Sciences, was president of the Society of Forensic Toxicologists, Chair of the Toxicology Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and president of The International Association of Forensic Toxicologists. 


Cannabinoid Pharmacology