Imperial College London

Professor Paul M. Matthews

Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Brain Sciences

Edmond and Lily Safra Chair, Head of Department



+44 (0)20 7594 2855p.matthews




Ms Siobhan Dillon +44 (0)20 7594 2855




E502Burlington DanesHammersmith Campus






BibTex format

author = {Whitcher, B and Matthews, PM},
doi = {10.2165/00124363-200620030-00003},
journal = {International Journal of Pharmaceutical Medicine},
pages = {167--175},
title = {Noninvasive brain imaging for experimental medicine in drug discovery and development: Promise and pitfalls},
url = {},
volume = {20},
year = {2006}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - There is currently increased focus on experimental medicine in drug development. Imaging methods potentially provide highly cost-effective, general approaches for the noninvasive characterisation of disease and pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and drug effects directly in humans in ways that can enable this. The two methods most widely employed now are positron emission tomography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). PET allows the distribution of radiolabelled molecules to be mapped, enabling studies of molecule distribution and tissue metabolism. MRI was initially used primarily to define tissue structure, but a more recent range of functional MRI techniques promise the potential to define pharmacokinetic data over biologically meaningful timescales. With an understanding of the relationship between imaging biomarker changes and clinical outcomes, imaging can be used as a surrogate marker of response even for the later stages of drug development. There are pitfalls in the application of these methods, which need to be avoided. The two most common are: (i) getting distracted by the technology rather than focusing on the questions that need to be asked; and (ii) the failure to interpret the imaging data in an appropriate disease- and drug-specific fashion. However, with attention to such issues, imaging should prove a powerful facilitating platform for experimental medicine in the future. © 2006 Adis Data Information BV. All rights reserved.
AU - Whitcher,B
AU - Matthews,PM
DO - 10.2165/00124363-200620030-00003
EP - 175
PY - 2006///
SN - 1364-9027
SP - 167
TI - Noninvasive brain imaging for experimental medicine in drug discovery and development: Promise and pitfalls
T2 - International Journal of Pharmaceutical Medicine
UR -
VL - 20
ER -