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. At the moment, we are focussed almost exclusively on COVID-19, examining both vaccines and potential treatments.


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.




Nutma E, Ceyzeriat K, Amor S, et al., 2021, Cellular sources of TSPO expression in healthy and diseased brain, European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, ISSN:1619-7070

Voysey M, Clemens SAC, Madhi SA, et al., 2021, Safety and efficacy of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AZD1222) against SARS-CoV-2: an interim analysis of four randomised controlled trials in Brazil, South Africa, and the UK, The Lancet, Vol:397, ISSN:0140-6736, Pages:99-111

Kreisl WC, Kim M-J, Coughlin JM, et al., 2020, PET imaging of neuroinflammation in neurological disorders, Lancet Neurology, Vol:19, ISSN:1474-4422, Pages:940-950

Nicholas R, Brooks D, Owen D, 2020, 18F-GE180, a radioligand for the TSPO protein: not ready for clinical trials in multiple sclerosis, European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, Vol:47, ISSN:1619-7070, Pages:2242-2243

Nicholas R, Brooks D, Owen D, 2020, Letter to the Editor re: Confirmation of Specific Binding of the 18-kDa Translocator Protein (TSPO) Radioligand [F-18]GE-180: a Blocking Study Using XBD173 in Multiple Sclerosis Normal Appearing White and Grey Matter In Response, Molecular Imaging and Biology, Vol:22, ISSN:1536-1632, Pages:13-14

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