Julie Lasselin, PhD
Julie Lasselin, PhD, is Associate Professor (Docent) of Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet and leads the research program at the Osher Center in Stockholm. The research being done at the Karolinska Osher Center applies interdisciplinary and transdiagnostic perspectives to investigate determinants of well-being in relation to somatic and psychiatric health conditions. Dr. Lasselin’s research focuses on understanding psychobiological mechanisms and providing evidence of mind-body processes in conditions such as fatigue, anxiety, and depression.
Dr. Lasselin is currently investigating the brain predictors of sickness outcomes and the role of healthcare providers in predicting these outcomes. She also just secured a grant to investigate how individuals’ expectations during sickness may affect their emotional response using a predictive coding framework. “By bringing together knowledge from psychology, immunology, neuroscience, and behavioral science, we are able to provide information about how the body works in an integrative way, which is, to me, the only way to fully understand a patient,” said Dr. Lasselin. The Osher Center at Karolinska Institutet has no clinical practice of its own, but the team collaborates closely with care units, such as at the Gustavsberg Primary Care Center outside Stockholm.
Dr. Lasselin has always been interested in the placebo effect and the relationship between brain, behavior, and bodily function. “When I learned in secondary school at the age of 16 that the brain could influence the immune system, I knew this was the field I wanted to work in,” she said.
The team at Karolinska hopes to work on more projects with the Osher Centers based in the U.S. “The Osher Collaborative provides a unique opportunity for us to gain insights from therapists who meet patients in an integrative way, which we can then apply to our own studies to target specific symptoms or to test new therapies,” said Dr. Lesselin. “In turn, our studies could provide new therapeutic tools and targets, which could be tested or applied at the U.S. Osher Centers.”
Dr. Lasselin is excited about the prospect of collecting large-scale data across all Osher Centers, including longitudinal data for future studies. “There is a lack of studies and guidelines from an international perspective,” she said. “We aim to foster good Open Science practices including data sharing, which facilitates collaboration and improves reproducibility and scientific rigor.”