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



Angelescu I, Brugger SP, Borgan F, et al., 2021, The magnitude and variability of brain structural alterations in bipolar disorder: A double meta-analysis of 5534 patients and 6651 healthy controls., J Affect Disord, Vol:291, Pages:171-176

Onwordi EC, Whitehurst T, Mansur A, et al., 2021, The relationship between synaptic density marker SV2A, glutamate and N-acetyl aspartate levels in healthy volunteers and schizophrenia: a multimodal PET and magnetic resonance spectroscopy brain imaging study, Translational Psychiatry, ISSN:2158-3188

Modinos G, Richter A, Egerton A, et al., 2021, Interactions between hippocampal activity and striatal dopamine in people at clinical high risk for psychosis: relationship to adverse outcomes., Neuropsychopharmacology, Vol:46, Pages:1468-1474

Perry BI, Osimo EF, Upthegrove R, et al., 2021, Development and external validation of the Psychosis Metabolic Risk Calculator (PsyMetRiC): a cardiometabolic risk prediction algorithm for young people with psychosis., Lancet Psychiatry, Vol:8, Pages:589-598

Penzel N, Antonucci LA, Betz LT, et al., 2021, Association between age of cannabis initiation and gray matter covariance networks in recent onset psychosis., Neuropsychopharmacology, Vol:46, Pages:1484-1493

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