Patrick Fisher
Neuroscience, PhD
Dept. Neurology and Neurobiology Research Unit,
Copenhagen University Hospital, Rigshospitalet,
Building 8057,
Blegdamsvej 9, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
3545 6714

Curriculum vitae

Scientific interests:

I am a neuroscientist interested in identifying neurobiological mechanisms that shape inter-individual variability in human behavior. I use fMRI to establish task-based and resting-state features of distributed brain function and connectivity. Complementary, I use PET to establish features of behaviorally relevant neurotransmission, primarily serotonin receptor and transporter distribution. I evaluate how these features are:

  1. associated with informative behavioral phenotypes (e.g., personality),
  2. disrupted in neuropsychiatric illnesses such as major depressive disorder,
  3. affected by intervention strategies (e.g., bright-light, SSRIs, serotonin psychedelics),
  4. predicted by informative markers such a genetic variation.

Recently, I have oriented my research toward establishing neural features associated with consciousness. I am leading a multimodal PET/fMRI study of brain mechanisms associated with the serotonin psychedelic psilocybin, to better understand how this promising and broadly applicable therapeutic affects the brain. I am collaborating with neurologists at Rigshospitalet including a project evaluating fMRI measures in coma patients to identify neural markers of conscious awareness and recovery.

These research interests are the foundation for my methodical integration of PET and fMRI, complementary human brain imaging tools that together facilitate our understanding of how neurotransmission shapes the neural pathways underlying consciousness and behavior. I am also very interested in developing and leveraging multivariate analytic strategies (e.g., latent variable and machine learning model frameworks) that more effectively map stable and informative links between genetic/environmental factors, neurobiological systems, behavioral phenotypes and related risk for neuropsychiatric illness.


2014 - Senior Researcher, Neurobiology Research Unit, Rigshospitalet
2011 - 2014 Post-doctoral Researcher, Neurobiology Research Unit, Rigshospitalet
2006 - 2010 Doctorate of Philosophy in Neuroscience, Center for Neuroscience and the Neural Basis of Cognition, Pittsburgh, USA
2004 - 2006 Research Associate, Lab of Dr. Ahmad R. Hariri, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
2003 Research Assistant, Lab of Dr. Daniel Weinberger, NIMH, Bethesda, MD, USA
2000 - 2004 Bachelor of Science in Biology and Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Selected positions of trust and honours:

2015 - Council of Investigators for Center for Experimental Medicine Neuropharmacology
2011 - 2015 Council of Investigators for Center for Integrated Molecular Brain Imaging
2011 - 2015 Section leader (Biorhythms) within Center for Integrated Molecular Brain Imaging
2011 - 2014 Primary and co-supervisor of 3 medical students completing a research year
2011, 2013 European College of Neuropsychopharmacology Fellowship Award
2012 - 2014 Primary organizer of Cimbi PhD course ("The Emotional Brain")


My full list of scientific publications can be accessed through my ORCID-profile.

Selected publications
  • Madsen MK, Fisher PM, Burmester D, Dyssegaard A, Stenbæk DS, Kristiansen S, Johansen SS, Lehel S, Linnet K, Svarer C, Erritzoe D, Ozenne B, Knudsen GM. Psychedelic effects of psilocybin correlate with serotonin 2A receptor occupancy and plasma psilocin levels. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2019 Jun;44(7):1328-1334. DOI: 10.1038/s41386-019-0324-9.
  • Borgsted C, Ozenne⁠ B, Mc Mahon B, Madsen KM, Hjordt⁠ LV, Hageman⁠ I, Baaré⁠ WFC, Knudsen GM, Fisher PM. Amygdala response to emotional faces in seasonal affective disorder. J Affect Disord. 2018 Mar 15;229:288-295. DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2017.12.097.
  • Fisher PM, Ozenne B, Svarer C, Adamsen D, Lehel S, Baaré WF, Jensen PS, Knudsen GM. BDNF val66met association with serotonin transporter binding in healthy humans. Transl Psychiatry. 2017 Feb 14;7(2):e1029. DOI: 10.1038/tp.2016.295.
  • Kondziella D, Fisher PM, Larsen VA, Hauerberg J, Fabricius M, Møller K, Knudsen GM. Functional MRI for Assessment of the Default Mode Network in Acute Brain Injury. Neurocrit Care. 2017 Dec;27(3):401-406. DOI: 10.1007/s12028-017-0407-6.
  • Fisher PM, Haahr ME, Jensen CG, Frokjaer VG, Siebner HR, Knudsen GM. Fluctuations in [11C]SB207145 PET binding associated with change in threat-related amygdala reactivity in humans. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2015 May;40(6):1510-8. DOI: 10.1038/npp.2014.339.