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



Allen P, Hird EJ, Orlov N, et al., 2021, Adverse clinical outcomes in people at clinical high-risk for psychosis related to altered interactions between hippocampal activity and glutamatergic function, Translational Psychiatry, Vol:11

Howes O, Cummings C, Heurich M, 2021, Translation From Genes to Mechanism in Schizophrenia: Are Immune-Synaptic Interactions the Missing Link?, Biol Psychiatry, Vol:90, Pages:593-595

McCutcheon RA, Merritt K, Howes OD, 2021, Dopamine and glutamate in individuals at high risk for psychosis: a meta-analysis of in vivo imaging findings and their variability compared to controls, World Psychiatry, Vol:20, ISSN:1723-8617, Pages:405-416

Eap CB, Gründer G, Baumann P, et al., 2021, Tools for optimising pharmacotherapy in psychiatry (therapeutic drug monitoring, molecular brain imaging and pharmacogenetic tests): focus on antidepressants., World J Biol Psychiatry, Vol:22, Pages:561-628

Baumeister D, Pillinger T, Howes O, et al., 2021, Psychophysiological stress-reactivity in clinical and non-clinical voice-hearers., Schizophr Res, Vol:235, Pages:52-59

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