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



Rizzo G, Veronese M, Tonietto M, et al., 2019, Generalization of endothelial modelling of TSPO PET imaging: Considerations on tracer affinities., J Cereb Blood Flow Metab, Vol:39, Pages:874-885

Lally J, Ajnakina O, Singh N, et al., 2019, Vitamin D and clinical symptoms in First Episode Psychosis (FEP): A prospective cohort study, Schizophrenia Research, Vol:204, ISSN:0920-9964, Pages:381-388

Bloomfield PS, Bonsall D, Wells L, et al., 2018, The effects of haloperidol on microglial morphology and translocator protein levels: An in vivo study in rats using an automated cell evaluation pipeline, Journal of Psychopharmacology, Vol:32, ISSN:1461-7285, Pages:1264-1272

Reis Marques T, Ashok A, Pillinger T, et al., 2018, Neuroinflammation in schizophrenia: meta-analysis of in-vivo microglial imaging studies, Psychological Medicine, ISSN:0033-2917

Nour MM, Dahoun T, Schwartenbeck P, et al., 2018, Dopaminergic basis for signaling belief updates, but not surprise, and the link to paranoia, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol:115, ISSN:0027-8424, Pages:E10167-E10176

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