Imperial College London

Dr David R Owen MD PhD

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Brain Sciences

Clinical Senior Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacology



+44 (0)20 3313 6195d.owen Website




G20AICTEM buildingHammersmith Campus






I am a Clinical Pharmacologist funded by an MRC Clinician Scientist Fellowship.

My fellowship is investigating the role of microglia in brain disease. Microglia are referred to as the “policemen of the brain” because they activate in response to almost any brain injury, including degenerative disease like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The way in which microglia respond to these diseases is very important, because this response partly determines how fast the disease progresses. My focus is on identifying drugs to modulate their responses and therefore slow the progression of these diseases.

In addition, I am Head of Clinical Studies at the NIHR Imperial Clinical Research Facility, a unit which helps Imperial College researchers turn their laboratory discoveries into medicines of the future. 


I spend the remaining ~20% of my time in clinical medicine seeing patients on the acute medical take, leading Pharmacology teaching (with Chris John) at Imperial Medical School, and contributing to committees on the use of medicines. This includes chairing the North West London Integrated Formulary Committee which covers GP practices responsible for approximately 2.6 million people, and chairing the Subregional IVIG committee covering the stewardship of this life saving but scarce resource across 6 NHS Trusts.


If you are interested in working on any of these projects, or wanting to start a new one in this field, please do get in touch.




Amor S, Nutma E, Owen D, 2021, Imaging immune responses in neuroinflammatory diseases, Clinical and Experimental Immunology, Vol:206, ISSN:0009-9104, Pages:248-250

Smith AM, Davey K, Tsartsalis S, et al., 2021, Diverse human astrocyte and microglial transcriptional responses to Alzheimer's pathology, Acta Neuropathologica, Vol:143, ISSN:0001-6322, Pages:75-91

Nutma E, Gebro E, Marzin MC, et al., 2021, Activated microglia do not increase 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO) expression in the multiple sclerosis brain, Glia, Vol:69, ISSN:0894-1491, Pages:2447-2458

Ramakrishnan NK, Hird M, Thompson S, et al., 2021, Preclinical evaluation of (S)-[18F]GE387, a novel 18-kDa translocator protein (TSPO) PET radioligand with low binding sensitivity to human polymorphism rs6971, European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Vol:49, ISSN:0340-6997, Pages:125-136

Feleke R, Reynolds RH, Smith AM, et al., 2021, Cross-platform transcriptional profiling identifies common and distinct molecular pathologies in Lewy body diseases, Acta Neuropathologica, Vol:142, ISSN:0001-6322, Pages:449-474

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