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

Guo X, McCutcheon RA, Pillinger T, et al., 2020, The magnitude and heterogeneity of antidepressant response in depression: A meta-analysis of over 45,000 patients., J Affect Disord, Vol:276, Pages:991-1000

Dickens AM, Borgan F, Laurikainen H, et al., 2020, Links between central CB1-receptor availability and peripheral endocannabinoids in patients with first episode psychosis., Npj Schizophr, Vol:6, ISSN:2334-265X

Howes OD, Hird EJ, Adams RA, et al., 2020, Aberrant Salience, Information Processing, and Dopaminergic Signaling in People at Clinical High Risk for Psychosis., Biol Psychiatry, Vol:88, Pages:304-314

Bloomfield MAP, Green SF, Hindocha C, et al., 2020, The effects of acute cannabidiol on cerebral blood flow and its relationship to memory: An arterial spin labelling magnetic resonance imaging study, Journal of Psychopharmacology, Vol:34, ISSN:0269-8811, Pages:981-989

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