NRU Management Group


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 mapping neurobiological mechanisms onto human behavior, consciousness, neuropsychiatric illness, and associated pharmacological interventions (e.g., psychedelics). I use fMRI to establish task-based and resting-state features of distributed brain function and connectivity. Complementarily, I use PET to establish features of behaviorally relevant neurotransmission, primarily serotonin receptor and transporter distribution. My research centers on evaluating 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.

A central element of my research aims to elucidate neural features associated with consciousness. We pursue pharmacological multimodal PET/fMRI studies to map brain mechanisms onto the acute and lasting effects of serotonin psychedelics (e.g., psilocybin and LSD) to better understand how these promising therapeutics affect the brain. We have clinical research collaborations aimed at identifying functional and molecular brain imaging markers linked to disorders of consciousness, e.g., coma, that may provide clinically informative indicators of conscious awareness and predictors 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. Where relevant, we develop and leverage 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:

McCulloch DE, Madsen MK, Stenbæk DS, Kristiansen S, Ozenne B, Jensen PS, Knudsen GM, Fisher PM. Lasting effects of a single psilocybin dose on resting-state functional connectivity in healthy individuals. J Psychopharmacol. 2022 Jan;36(1):74-84. DOI: 10.1177/02698811211026454.

Madsen MK, Stenbæk DS, Arvidsson A, Armand S, Marstrand-Joergensen MR, Johansen SS, Linnet K, Ozenne B, Knudsen GM, Fisher PM. Psilocybin-induced changes in brain network integrity and segregation correlate with plasma psilocin level and psychedelic experience. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2021 Sep;50:121-132. DOI: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2021.06.001.

Brandt IM, Köhler-Forsberg K, Ganz M, Ozenne B, Jorgensen MB, Poulsen A, Knudsen GM, Frokjaer VG, Fisher PM. Reward processing in major depressive disorder and prediction of treatment response - Neuropharm study. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2021 Mar;44:23-33. DOI: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2020.12.010.

Madsen MK, Fisher PM, Stenbæk DS, Kristiansen S, Burmester D, Lehel S, Páleníček T, Kuchař M, Svarer C, Ozenne B, Knudsen GM. A single psilocybin dose is associated with long-term increased mindfulness, preceded by a proportional change in neocortical 5-HT2A receptor binding. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2020 Apr;33:71-80. doi: 10.1016/j.euroneuro.2020.02.001. Epub 2020 Mar 4. PMID: 32146028.

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.