Recent updates as of 05/11/2021

Program Overview

The 3 day conference is designed to provide an unparalleled platform for integrating current knowledge on placebo research in pain, alcohol use disorders, and substance use disorders.

Pain and alcohol are inter-related conditions with large and individually variable placebo effects on disease progression and response to treatments.  
The ultimate goal of this conference is to develop holistic and adequate strategies for better management and treatment of these conditions.

Specifically, the conference will:

  • provide a collaborative platform to present and share innovative research findings and theoretical ideas on placebo research to a national and an international audience of researchers; 
  • promote training and education of trainees, academic junior researchers, healthcare professionals, agencies, stakeholders and the public; and
  • advocate for the participation of minorities and women while expanding the U.S. research in the global network of placebo research.

Features of this program include:


In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, recommendations by the CDC Guiding Principles for Events and Gatherings and decision by the University of Maryland, Baltimore to maintain virtual operations through March 2021, this Program will now be held virtually. Innovative technology will provide a rich, interactive learning experience for all attendees.

The Virtual Experience

with live streamed presentations, participate in live Q & A sessions,
special interest chat rooms, and pre-recorded sessions

Plenary sessions with:

Day 1 –
Wednesday, May 26

Jefferson Fish, PhD
Placebo Therapy Memories:
Influences on Writing the Book 50 Years Ago

Wayne, B. Jonas, MD
How Placebo Research Informs Healing

Day 2 –
Thursday, May 27

George F. Koob, PhD
Negative emotional state neuroadaptations in addiction and how they can become conditioned to cues and context

Howard Fields, MD, PhD
Prediction, Expectation, and Pain Control

Charlotte Blease, PhD
Sharing online clinical notes with patients: Implications for placebo and nocebo effects


Day 3 –
Friday, May 28

David Rakel, MD
The Clinician Effect: You are the Strongest Medicine to Reduce Pain and Suffering

Jens Gaab, Prof. Dr.
Why psychotherapy is an open-label placebo and open-label placebo is psychotherapy


Invited and peer reviewed presenter

In-depth discussions that will:

  • expand the knowledge of placebo responsiveness,
  • facilitate collaborations and synthesize new approaches in research and treatment
  • enhance the empirical, conceptual and ethical understanding of the placebo effect among academic researchers, health care professionals, as well as external stakeholders.

Parallel symposia dedicated to presentations from non-academic researchers

Peer reviewed poster presentation sessions

Inclusion of patients and non-researcher clinicians 

Networking forums

Organizer of the SIPS conference 2021

Sponsors of the SIPS conference 2021

If you are interested in becoming a Sponsor, please contact us at: