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



McCutcheon RA, Harrison PJ, Howes OD, et al., 2023, Data-Driven Taxonomy for Antipsychotic Medication: A New Classification System., Biol Psychiatry, Vol:94, Pages:561-568

Kim E, Carreira Figueiredo I, Simmons C, et al., 2023, Mapping acute neuroinflammation in vivo with diffusion-MRI in rats given a systemic lipopolysaccharide challenge., Brain Behav Immun, Vol:113, Pages:289-301

Nordio G, Easmin R, Giacomel A, et al., 2023, An automatic analysis framework for FDOPA PET neuroimaging., J Cereb Blood Flow Metab, Vol:43, Pages:1285-1300

Townsend L, Pillinger T, Selvaggi P, et al., 2023, Brain glucose metabolism in schizophrenia: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 18FDG-PET studies in schizophrenia., Psychol Med, Vol:53, Pages:4880-4897

Selvaggi P, Jauhar S, Kotoula V, et al., 2023, Reduced cortical cerebral blood flow in antipsychotic-free first-episode psychosis and relationship to treatment response., Psychol Med, Vol:53, Pages:5235-5245

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