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



Casetta C, Santosh P, Bayley R, et al., 2024, CLEAR – clozapine in early psychosis: study protocol for a multi-centre, randomised controlled trial of clozapine vs other antipsychotics for young people with treatment resistant schizophrenia in real world settings, Bmc Psychiatry, Vol:24

Agid O, Crespo-Facorro B, de Bartolomeis A, et al., 2024, Overcoming the barriers to identifying and managing treatment-resistant schizophrenia and to improving access to clozapine: A narrative review and recommendation for clinical practice, European Neuropsychopharmacology, Vol:84, ISSN:0924-977X, Pages:35-47

Sportelli L, Eisenberg DP, Passiatore R, et al., 2024, Dopamine signaling enriched striatal gene set predicts striatal dopamine synthesis and physiological activity in vivo., Nat Commun, Vol:15

Shatalina E, Whitehurst TS, Onwordi EC, et al., 2024, Mitochondrial complex I density is associated with IQ and cognition in cognitively healthy adults: an in vivo [18F]BCPP-EF PET study., Ejnmmi Res, Vol:14, ISSN:2191-219X

Prodani C, Irvine EE, Sardini A, et al., 2024, Protein restriction during pregnancy alters Cdkn1c silencing, dopamine circuitry and offspring behaviour without changing expression of key neuronal marker genes., Sci Rep, Vol:14

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