Karin Jensen portrait

Karin Jensen

Principal researcher

About me

I am a clinical psychologist and neuroscientist specializing in the human perception of pain, placebo effects and long-term pain conditions. I lead an interdisciplinary research group at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience (CNS) at Karolinska Institutet.

My scientific goal is to understand the cognitive mechanisms and brain pathways involved in the generation and regulation of pain in humans.

Faculty positions

2019 - now    Associate Professor, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden

2014 - 2019   Assistant Professor, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden

2013 - 2017   Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School, USA

Other merits

2022 - now   Deputy Head, Neuro Division, CNS, Karolinska Institutet

2022 - 2022  Visiting Professor, University of Oxford, UK

2021 - now    Board Member, Strategic Research Area Neuro (StratNeuro)

2019 - now    Pro Futura Fellow, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS), Sweden

2015 - now    Board Member, International Society for Interdisciplinary Placebo Studies (SIPS)

Teaching portfolio

Currently teaching

Medical Program 

2021 - now   Cognitive Neuroscience, Basvetenskap 4, Modul 4, Karolinska Institutet


2022 - now   The Science of the Placebo Effect, Karolinska Institutet


Postdoctoral education

2010 - 2013   Harvard Medical School / Mass General Hospital, Boston, USA

Doctoral education 

2005 - 2009   PhD Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Basic education

2000 - 2005   MSc Clinical Psychology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Academic honours, awards and prizes

Selected publications

Lalouni M, Fust J ... Jensen K. Augmented pain inhibition and higher integration of pain modulatory brain networks in women with self-injury behavior. Molecular Psychiatry, 2022, 6, 1-8.

Gedin F, Blomé S ... Jensen K. Placebo Response and media attention in randomized clinical trials assessing cannabis-based therapies for pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Network Open, 2022;5(11):e2243848.

Kastrati G, Rosén J ... Jensen K. Genetic influence on nociceptive processing in the human brain – a twin study. Cerebral Cortex. 2022 10;32(2):266-274.

Ellingsen DM, Isenburg K ... Jensen K ... Napadow V. Dynamic brain-to-brain concordance and behavioral mirroring as a mechanism of the patient-clinician interaction. Science Advances, 2020 Oct 21;6(43):eabc1304.

Stridh A, Pontén M, ... Jensen K. Response to Placebo among men with Erectile Dysfunction in Phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor Trials: A systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Network Open. 2020 Mar 2;3(3):e201423.

Jensen K, Kirsch I, ... Curie A. Certainty of genuine treatment increases drug responses among intellectually disabled patients, Neurology, 2017, 88(20):1912-1918. 

Jensen K, Kirsch I, ... Ingvar M. Classical conditioning of analgesic and hyperalgesic pain responses without conscious awareness. Proc Natl Acad Sci (PNAS) 2015, 112(25):7863-7.

Jensen K, Petrovic P, ... Kaptchuk TJ. Sharing pain and relief: Neural correlates of physicians during treatment of patients. Molecular Psychiatry, 2014, 19(3), 392-398.

Jensen K, Kaptchuk TJ, ... Kong J. Nonconscious activation of placebo and nocebo pain responses. Proc Natl Acad Sci (PNAS) 2012; 25(39): 15959-15964.