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



Halff EF, Cotel M-C, Natesan S, et al., 2021, Effects of chronic exposure to haloperidol, olanzapine or lithium on SV2A and NLGN synaptic puncta in the rat frontal cortex., Behav Brain Res, Vol:405

D'Ambrosio E, Jauhar S, Kim S, et al., 2021, The relationship between grey matter volume and striatal dopamine function in psychosis: a multimodal 18F-DOPA PET and voxel-based morphometry study., Mol Psychiatry, Vol:26, Pages:1332-1345

Petty A, Cui X, Ali A, et al., 2021, Positive symptom phenotypes appear progressively in "EDiPS", a new animal model of the schizophrenia prodrome., Sci Rep, Vol:11

Gifford G, Crossley N, Morgan S, et al., 2021, Integrated metastate functional connectivity networks predict change in symptom severity in clinical high risk for psychosis., Hum Brain Mapp, Vol:42, Pages:439-451

Plavén-Sigray P, Matheson GJ, Coughlin JM, et al., 2021, Meta-analysis of the Glial Marker TSPO in Psychosis Revisited: Reconciling Inconclusive Findings of Patient-Control Differences., Biol Psychiatry, Vol:89, Pages:e5-e8

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