Maryka Quik received her PhD in biochemistry from McGill University in Montreal, Canada. After a Medical Research Council postdoctoral fellowship at Cambridge University in England, she joined the faculty in the Department of Pharmacology at McGill University as assistant professor. She continued her career in research and teaching as a full professor in pharmacology at McGill until 1996, when she joined The Parkinson's Institute.
One line of Dr. Quik’s research is to determine the molecular basis for the very consistent epidemiological finding that there is a decreased incidence of Parkinson’s disease in smoker. The focus of her laboratory is to investigate whether nicotine may exert this apparent beneficial effect against this disorder. Studies are also in progress to investigate the molecular mechanisms that are responsible for the involuntary movements or dyskinesias that are a major complication of long-term L-dopa treatment. These combined studies may lead to the development of selective drugs for the management of Parkinson’s disease and/or as a potential strategy for long-term prevention.