January 08, 2015

Comprehensive Cancer Center research seminar series highlights placebo effects in clinical care

Written by
Ted J. Kaptchuk, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and director of the Harvard-wide Program in Placebo Studies and the Therapeutic Encounter (PiPS) at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, will present “Placebo Effects:  how is medicine more than drugs and surgery?” from noon – 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at the Wallace Tumor Institute, Room 101 (WTI101). Lunch will be provided and space is limited.

As a leading figure in placebo studies, a scholar of East Asian medicine, and an academic authority on medical pluralism, Kaptchuk's career has spanned multiple disciplines, drawing upon concepts, research designs and analytical methods from the humanities and basic and clinical and social sciences. Kaptchuk is also a lecturer in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. 

He has made significant contributions to the field of placebo studies through his multi-disciplinary investigations of the impact of placebos in various illnesses, the neurobiology of placebo effects, the experience of patients being treated by placebo, and the various physiological, psychological, cultural, sociological and philosophical dimensions of placebos.  He has written well-regarded histories of placebo controls and the placebo effect and significant ethical analyses of the use of placebos in clinical practice and research.  He has been published in more than 200 articles in such journals as the New England Journal, Lancet, JAMA, BMJ, Science Translational Medicine, PNAS, and Journal of Neuroscience.   He has served in various long-term consultation positions at the FDA and NIH.

Also on January 13, there will also be a roundtable discussion from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m. at Wallace Tumor Institute Board Room (WTI 231).  Both events are sponsored by the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center.