Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineInstitute of Clinical Sciences

Visiting Professor



+44 (0)20 3313 4318oliver.howes Website




Steiner MRI UnitHammersmith HospitalHammersmith Campus





Oliver Howes is Group Head and Professor of Molecular Psychiatry. His clinical work is as Consultant Psychiatrist at The Institute of Psychiatry/ Maudsley Hospital.

Contact: tel: +44 (0)20 8383 3298

Mental illnesses are a major cause of ill health and premature death. They account for four of the six leading causes of adult disability in the world and one in every ten hospital beds in the UK is allocated for the treatment of psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia.

“Our research focuses on understanding the causes of mental illnesses and improving their treatment using PET and other functional imaging techniques" 

Current work in the group focuses on:

  • Understanding the brain changes that lead to the development of psychotic disorders, using multi-modal imaging with PET and MRI
  • Examining the effects of cannabis and other drugs on the brain, and the influence of common genetic polymorphisms on brain function
  • Determining why some patients respond to treatments and others don’t
  • Using novel approaches to diagnosing mental illnesses
  • Developing models for future drug development



Plavén-Sigray P, Matheson GJ, Coughlin JM, et al., 2021, Meta-analysis of the Glial Marker TSPO in Psychosis Revisited: Reconciling Inconclusive Findings of Patient-Control Differences., Biol Psychiatry, Vol:89, Pages:e5-e8

Heald A, Azadbakht N, Geary B, et al., 2020, Application of SWATH mass spectrometry in the identification of circulating proteins does not predict future weight gain in early psychosis, Clinical Proteomics, Vol:17, ISSN:1542-6416

Wagner E, Kane JM, Correll CU, et al., 2020, Clozapine Combination and Augmentation Strategies in Patients With Schizophrenia -Recommendations From an International Expert Survey Among the Treatment Response and Resistance in Psychosis (TRRIP) Working Group., Schizophr Bull, Vol:46, Pages:1459-1470

Potkin SG, Kane JM, Correll CU, et al., 2020, The neurobiology of treatment-resistant schizophrenia: paths to antipsychotic resistance and a roadmap for future research, Npj Schizophrenia, Vol:6

Whitehurst TS, Osugo M, Townsend L, et al., 2020, Proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy of N-acetyl Aspartate in Chronic Schizophrenia, First Episode of Psychosis and High-Risk of Psychosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis., Neurosci Biobehav Rev, Vol:119, Pages:255-267

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