Just as evidence-based scientific research drives the progress of medical therapy, so too evidence-based research is needed to guide and enhance the art of medicine. Traditionally, the art of medicine has been understood as a humanistic orientation sequestered from medical science and technology. Research on the placebo response provides a fruitful opportunity for developing rigorous knowledge that can bridge this gap in the service of patient care. PiPS addresses this need by integrating concepts, research designs and analytic methods drawn from the clinical, basic and social sciences and the humanities. Our efforts are translational and cross-cultural.