Placebo Beyond Opinions (PBO) Center

The PBO Center promotes interdisciplinary investigation of the placebo phenomenon in health care and nurtures a higher education placebo research program.

The name "Placebo Beyond Opinions" (PBO) reflects the Center's commitment to moving beyond mere opinions or assumptions about the placebo effect and delving into rigorous scientific investigation. It emphasizes the Center's focus on advancing beyond subjective beliefs or unsubstantiated claims about placebos, instead aiming for a deeper understanding through empirical research and interdisciplinary collaboration. The term "Beyond Opinions“ refers to a departure from speculation and a dedication to evidence-based inquiry.


The Placebo Beyond Opinions (PBO) Center is committed to advancing interdisciplinary research and education on placebo, nocebo, and expectation effects, with a particular focus on addressing disparities and integrating digital therapeutics. Collaborating with global leaders, we investigate these mechanisms and their impact on symptom variability, treatment responses, and clinical encounters, especially among underserved populations. Through rigorous research, we seek to improve clinical trials, educate future clinicians, and integrate placebo knowledge into precision medicine practices, leveraging digital therapeutics (e.g., virtual and augmented reality) to ensure equitable access and optimal patient care.


  1. Addressing Socio-Economic Factors and Disparities: The PBO Center aims to focus on socio-economic factors and disparities that influence clinical outcomes in underrepresented populations. Through comprehensive research on placebo, nocebo and expectations, we hope to contribute to mitigate these disparities and ensure equitable access to effective healthcare (e.g., digital therapeutics).
  2. Educating Medical Providers on Placebo Effects: A primary objective of the PBO Center is to educate clinicians about the significance of placebo, nocebo and expectancies effects in healthcare delivery. By incorporating knowledge of placebo mechanisms into medical education, we empower clinicians to deliver targeted and more effective patient care, ultimately improving treatment outcomes.

Initiatives Supported by the PBO Center:

  • Creating an Interdisciplinary Entity for Global Collaboration: The PBO Center serves as an interdisciplinary hub that fosters collaboration among centers and scholars dedicated to advancing placebo science. By facilitating the exchange of ideas and resources, we accelerate progress in understanding and harnessing placebo, nocebo and expectancy effects for improved patient care.
  • Developing an Elective Lecture on Placebo Effects: The PBO Center offers ad-hoc elective lectures on Placebo Effects designed to highlight the importance of patient-provider communication in enhancing treatment outcomes. Through interactive learning activities, clinicians and students can gain insights into the role of placebo mechanisms in healthcare delivery.
  • Establishing a Hybrid Lecture Series by Expert Practitioners: To further knowledge dissemination, the PBO Center hosts a hybrid series of lectures featuring local, national, and international experts in the field. These lectures cover diverse topics related to placebo, nocebo, expectancy, symptom perception research, providing valuable insights and fostering dialogue among healthcare professionals, researchers, students, and patients.

The PBO Center aims to benefit a wide range of patient populations, particularly those interested in pain management, while advancing the field of placebo science through collaborative research, education, and service.


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