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



Pillinger T, Osimo EF, de Marvao A, et al., 2019, Cardiac structure and function in patients with schizophrenia taking antipsychotic drugs: an MRI study, Translational Psychiatry, Vol:9, ISSN:2158-3188

Rizzo G, Veronese M, Tonietto M, et al., 2019, Generalization of endothelial modelling of TSPO PET imaging: Considerations on tracer affinities., J Cereb Blood Flow Metab, Vol:39, Pages:874-885

McCutcheon RA, Nour MM, Dahoun T, et al., 2019, Mesolimbic dopamine function is related to salience network connectivity: an integrative PET and MR study, Biological Psychiatry, Vol:85, ISSN:0006-3223, Pages:368-378

Lally J, Ajnakina O, Singh N, et al., 2019, Vitamin D and clinical symptoms in First Episode Psychosis (FEP): A prospective cohort study, Schizophrenia Research, Vol:204, ISSN:0920-9964, Pages:381-388

McGinnity CJ, Arstad E, Beck K, et al., 2019, Comment on "In Vivo [F-18]GE-179 Brain Signal Does Not Show NMDA-Specific Modulation with Drug Challenges in Rodents and Nonhuman Primates", Acs Chemical Neuroscience, Vol:10, ISSN:1948-7193, Pages:768-772

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