Photo credits:
Sarah Thorén

Karin Jensen

Pro Futura Scientia Fellow, SCAS.
Associate Professor of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet

Karin Jensen earned a degree in Clinical Psychology from Uppsala University in 2005. During
her time in Uppsala, Jensen also received training in medical science. In 2009 she was awarded
a PhD in clinical neuroscience from Karolinska Institutet with a thesis on pain and human brain
function. Upon her graduation she joined the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School
and Massachusetts General Hospital. Jensen has developed an independent research line within
the field of placebo studies, first as Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, and later at
Karolinska Institutet.

Today, Jensen is the leader of the Pain Neuroimaging Lab at Karolinska Institutet, a research group
focusing on brain mechanisms involved in the experience of pain and placebo effects. Her work
has challenged existing models of the placebo effect and contributed novel scientific data demonstra-
ting that (a) placebos work outside of conscious awareness, (b) placebos work among patients with
severe intellectual disabilities, and (c) placebo effects are shaped by subtle social cues between a
patient and health-care provider. As a Pro Futura Scientia Fellow, Jensen will adopt an evolutionary
perspective on the placebo effect and study placebos in previously understudied contexts such as
psychotherapy, surgery and intellectual disability.

Jensen is engaged in international committees for placebo research and was a founding member of
the Program in Placebo Studies at Harvard Medical School. She is currently a board member of the
Society for Interdisciplinary Placebo Studies. Her scientific works are published in highly ranked
scientific journals such as Neurology, Pain, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)
and Molecular Psychiatry.

This information is accurate as of the academic year 2020-21.
Karin Jensen was in residence at the Collegium in the academic year 2019-20.