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



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

Brugger SP, Angelescu I, Abi-Dargham A, et al., 2020, Heterogeneity of Striatal Dopamine Function in Schizophrenia: Meta-analysis of Variance, Biological Psychiatry, Vol:87, ISSN:0006-3223, Pages:215-224

McCutcheon RA, Krystal JH, Howes OD, 2020, Dopamine and glutamate in schizophrenia: biology, symptoms and treatment, World Psychiatry, Vol:19, ISSN:1723-8617, Pages:15-33

McCluskey SP, Plisson C, Rabiner EA, et al., 2020, Advances in CNS PET: the state-of-the-art for new imaging targets for pathophysiology and drug development., Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging, Vol:47, Pages:451-489

Onwordi EC, Halff EF, Whitehurst T, et al., 2020, Synaptic density marker SV2A is reduced in schizophrenia patients and unaffected by antipsychotics in rats, Nature Communications, Vol:11, ISSN:2041-1723

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