Luana Colloca, MD, PhD, MS

Luana Colloca headshotAssociate Professor, PTSS
Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, School of Medicine
Address: 729
Phone Number: 410-706-8244

Lab website


  • MD, University of Catanzaro Medical School, Catanzaro, Italy, 2002
  • PhD, Neuroscience, University of Turin Medical School, Turin, Italy, 2007
  • MS, Bioethics, University of Turin, Italy, 2008

Research Interests

  • Learning mechanisms underlying human pain modulation
  • Expectations and social influences on hypoalgesia
  • Neurophysiological mechanisms of placebo and nocebo effects
  • Sex and age influences on pain modulation
  • Ethical and translational aspects of placebo and nocebo effects

Lab Personnel

  • Nathaniel Haycock, research coordinator
  • Titilola Akintola, PhD student
  • Sharon Thomas, PhD student
  • Christina Tricou, PhD student (rotation)
  • Kristina Park, research assistant
  • Ria Patel, volunteer
  • Nandini Raghuraman, master's student
  • Lieven Schenk, post-doctoral student


Funded Grants, P.I.

  • 2016-20, Colloca, PI, “Chronic orofacial pain: genetics, cognitive-emotional factors, and endogenous modulatory systems” National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) 1R01DE025946-01
  • 2016-17, Colloca, PI, “Ketamine-like effects and conditioning in a mouse model of neuropathic chronic pain and pain-related depression” CACPR, UMB

Recent Publications

  • Colloca, L. (2017). Nocebo effects can make you feel pain. Science 2017, October 6, 2017, 358: 6359. doi: 10.1126/science.aap8488
  • Colloca, L. et al. Neuropathic pain. Nat. Rev. Dis. Primers 3, 17002 (2016) - link
  • Colloca, L., Pine, D. S., Ernst, M., Miller, F. G., & Grillon, C. (2015). Vasopressin Boosts Placebo Analgesic Effects in Women: A Randomized Trial. Biol Psychiatry. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2015.07.019
  • Colagiuri, B., Schenk, L. A., Kessler, M. D., Dorsey, S. G., & Colloca, L. (2015). The placebo effect: From concepts to genes. Neuroscience, 307, 171-190. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.08.017
  • Colagiuri, B., Quinn, V. F., & Colloca, L. (2015). Nocebo Hyperalgesia, Partial Reinforcement, and Extinction. J Pain. doi: 10.1016/j.jpain.2015.06.012
  • Colloca L. Placebo, nocebo and learning. Handb Exp Pharmacol 2014;225:17-35
  • Simmons K, Ortiz R, Kosswsky J, Krummenacher P, Grillon C, Pine D, Colloca L. Pain and Placebo in Pediatrics: A comprehensive review of laboratory and clinical findings. Pain 2014; 155(11):2229-35
  • Au Yeung SC, Colagiuri B, Lovibond FP, Colloca L. Partial reinforcement, extinction, and placebo analgesia. Pain 2014;155(6):1110-7 
  • Hunter T, Siess F, Colloca L. Socially-induced placebo analgesia: a comparison of a pre-recorded versus live face-to-face observation. Eur J Pain 2014; 18(7):914-22
  • Colloca L, Grillon C. Understanding placebo and nocebo for pain management. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2014;18(6):419 
  • Hull SC, Colloca L, Avins A, Gordon P, Somkin CP, Silver P, Kaptchuk TJ, Miller FG.A Survey of Patients’ Attitudes about the Use of Placebo Treatments: Telephone survey. BMJ 2013;346:f3757
  • Colloca L, Klinger R, Flor H, Bingel U. Placebo analgesia: Psychological and neurobiological mechanisms. Pain 2013;154 (4): 153-157 
  • Colloca L. Finniss D. Nocebo effects, patient-clinician communication, and therapeutic outcomes. JAMA 2012;307(6):567-8.
  • Brody H, Colloca L, Miller FG. The placebo phenomenon: Implications for the Ethics of shared decision-making. JGIM 2012 27(6):739-42
  • Meissner K, Bingel U, Colloca L, Wager T, Watson A., Flaten M. The placebo effect: Advances from different methodological approaches. J Neurosci 31(45):16117-16124
  • Colloca L, Miller FG. The nocebo effect and its relevance for clinical practice. Psychosom Med 2011, 73(7):598-603
  • Colloca L, Miller FG. Harnessing the placebo effect: the need for translational research. Phil Trans R. Soc. B, Biological Sciences, 2011:366 1922-1930
  • Colloca L, Miller FG. How placebo responses are formed: A learning perspective. Phil Trans R. Soc. B, Biological Sciences 2011:366 1859-1869
  • Colloca L, Miller F. Role of Expectations in Health. Curr Opin Psych 2011;24(2):149-55 
  • Lui F, Colloca L, Duzzi D, Anchisi D, Benedetti F, Porro CA. Neural bases of conditioned placebo analgesia. Pain 2010;151:815-823.
  • Colloca L, Petrovic P, Wager TD, Ingvar M, Benedetti F. How the number of learning trials influences placebo and nocebo response. Pain 2010; 151:430-439


  • Colloca L. The Many Facets of the Placebo Effect: From neuronal mechanisms to clinical and ethical implications LAP Lambert Academic Publishing 2014 - ISBN-10: 3659103195
  • Colloca L. Flaten M., Meissner K. Editors. Placebo and Pain: From bench to bedside. Elsevier, Oxford, UK – 2013 – ISBN: 978-0-12-397928-5
  • Miller F, Colloca L, Crouch RA, Kaptchuk TJ. Editors. Placebo: A reader. Johns Hopkins University Press – 2013 - ISBN: 978-1-4214-0866-8 


  • 2017, UM School of Nursing Distinguished Scholarship Award
  • 2016, Stephen B. Milam Young Investigator Award - TMJA
  • 2016, Patrick D. Wall Young Investigator Award for Basic Science