MariaDr Maria Antonietta De Luca is a Researcher at the Neuropsychopharmacology Unit of the Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Cagliari (Italy). After an MSc in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technology, she completed a Specialisation in Toxicology and a PhD in Pharmacology of Drug Abuse at the University of Cagliari, supervised by Prof. Gaetano Di Chiara. In her career she has developed a strong expertise in the field of the neurochemistry and behavioural pharmacology, with a major focus on the role of mesolimbic and mesocortical dopaminergic transmission in the origin of drug addiction. She has over 10 years of experience with in vivo microdialysis in rodents for monitoring brain monoamines following the administration of drugs of abuse and natural rewards.  She also has a wider knowledge on animal models of drug addiction with particular reference to the rewarding properties of cannabinoids and endocannabinoids. Her knowledge in this research field has improved in 2002–2004 spending several months as a Guest Researcher at the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in Baltimore (MD, USA) in the team of Dr. S.R. Goldberg. Currently, she is a Fulbright Research Scholar visiting scientist at the Committee on Neurobiology of Addictive Disorders of the Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla, CA, USA). At Scripps she joined the team of Dr. L. H. Parsons and she is studying the addictive properties of synthetic marijuana and the genetic predisposition toward cannabinoid addiction.