Robert Innis, M.D., Ph.D.

Senior Investigator

Section on PET Neuroimaging Sciences


Magnuson Clinical Center (Building 10), Room B1D43J
10 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD 20814


Research Topics

Working in close collaboration with the radiochemistry laboratory of Dr. Victor Pike, my laboratory uses in vivo imaging to evaluate novel positron emission tomographic (PET) radioligands, first in animals, then in healthy human subjects, and finally in patients. My laboratory has multidisciplinary expertise in pharmacology, animal experimentation, clinical neuroscience, digital image analysis, and human evaluation of investigational radiopharmaceuticals. In addition to traditional receptor targets, we use radiolabeled probes for in vivo imaging of neuroinflammation (including translocator protein, COX-1, and COX-2) and intracellular signal transduction (eg, cAMP phosphodiesterase). A major goal of the lab is to use these radioligands to facilitate clinical trials of novel therapeutics. Such trials are in the early planning stages with regard to phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE4) and neuroinflammation in depression.


B.S., Yale College, 1974, Molec. Biophysics & Biochemistry (1970 - 1974)
M.D., Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 1978 (1974 - 1978)
Ph.D., Pharmacology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 1981 (1976 - 1980)
Nuclear Medicine, six-month training for Authorized User (10 CFR 35) of radiopharmaceuticals in human subjects (1995)

1980-1984 Resident in Psychiatry, Yale University (1980 - 1984)
1984-1990 Assistant Professor, Dept. Psychiatry, Yale University
1990-1994 Associate Professor, Yale Dept. Psychiatry
1994-2001 Appointment with tenure, Yale University
1996-2001 Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology, Yale University
2001- Chief, Molecular Imaging Branch, NIMH

Selected Publications

  1. Shrestha S, Kim MJ, Eldridge M, Lehmann ML, Frankland M, Liow JS, Yu ZX, Cortes-Salva M, Telu S, Henter ID, Gallagher E, Lee JH, Fredericks JM, Poffenberger C, Tye G, Ruiz-Perdomo Y, Anaya FJ, Montero Santamaria JA, Gladding RL, Zoghbi SS, Fujita M, Katz JD, Pike VW, Innis RB. PET measurement of cyclooxygenase-2 using a novel radioligand: upregulation in primate neuroinflammation and first-in-human study. J Neuroinflammation. 2020;17(1):140.
  2. Lu S, Haskali MB, Ruley KM, Dreyfus NJ, DuBois SL, Paul S, Liow JS, Morse CL, Kowalski A, Gladding RL, Gilmore J, Mogg AJ, Morin SM, Lindsay-Scott PJ, Ruble JC, Kant NA, Shcherbinin S, Barth VN, Johnson MP, Cuadrado M, Jambrina E, Mannes AJ, Nuthall HN, Zoghbi SS, Jesudason CD, Innis RB, Pike VW. PET ligands [18F]LSN3316612 and [11C]LSN3316612 quantify O-linked-β-N-acetyl-glucosamine hydrolase in the brain. Sci Transl Med. 2020;12(543).
  3. Kim MJ, Shrestha SS, Cortes M, Singh P, Morse C, Liow JS, Gladding RL, Brouwer C, Henry K, Gallagher E, Tye GL, Zoghbi SS, Fujita M, Pike VW, Innis RB. Evaluation of Two Potent and Selective PET Radioligands to Image COX-1 and COX-2 in Rhesus Monkeys. J Nucl Med. 2018;59(12):1907-1912.
  4. Fujita M, Richards EM, Niciu MJ, Ionescu DF, Zoghbi SS, Hong J, Telu S, Hines CS, Pike VW, Zarate CA, Innis RB. cAMP signaling in brain is decreased in unmedicated depressed patients and increased by treatment with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor. Mol Psychiatry. 2017;22(5):754-759.
  5. Kreisl WC, Lyoo CH, Liow JS, Wei M, Snow J, Page E, Jenko KJ, Morse CL, Zoghbi SS, Pike VW, Turner RS, Innis RB. (11)C-PBR28 binding to translocator protein increases with progression of Alzheimer's disease. Neurobiol Aging. 2016;44:53-61.

Related Scientific Focus Areas

This page was last updated on Monday, July 19, 2021