Maria Mavrikaki, PhD

Maria Mavrikaki, PhD, studied psychology and neuroscience at the University of Crete in Greece. After obtaining her PhD, she pursued a postdoctoral research fellow position at The Scripps Research Institute in Florida, where she utilized genetic mouse models to study mechanisms underlying motivation for food. She then pursued a postdoctoral research fellowship and an assistant neuroscientist position at McLean Hospital, where she studied neurobiological mechanisms underlying prescription opioid addiction. Dr. Mavrikaki is currently staff scientist in Dr. Frank Slack’s lab at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Since March 2017, she is also an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Her ongoing research assesses the role of small molecules called microRNAs in opioid addiction.


Posts by Maria Mavrikaki, PhD

Brain plasticity in drug addiction: Burden and benefit

The brain’s neuroplasticity — its ability to adapt and change — makes it possible for us to learn new skills and solve complex problems, but it also makes some people more vulnerable to the consequences of substance use disorders. This same ability also makes it possible for a person to make cognitive modifications in order to change an addictive behavior.

Your genes and addiction

As researchers seek new ways to treat addiction as well as ways to prevent it, they are also trying to determine why some people are more susceptible to addiction than others. One such avenue of research involves the interactions of genetic and environmental factors in the brain’s reward system.