University of California San Francisco
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Joel M. Palefsky, MD

Joel M. Palefsky, MD

Professor of Medicine, Department of Infectious Diseases, UCSF

Cancer Center Program Memberships

Cancer Control

Research Summary

I am the founder and chair of the HPV Working Group of the NCI AIDS Malignancy Consortium and the head of the AMC HPV Virology Core Lab. I have extensive experience in studying the molecular biology of HPV infection in HIV-positive men and women and in the design and implementation of clinical research trials of HPV-related disease in this population. I am the protocol chair of the ANCHOR study, an eight-year, 15-site NCI/NIH-funded randomized controlled trial designed to determine whether treatment of anal high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions prevents anal cancer in HIV-infected men and women.
As the founder and director of the Anal Neoplasia Clinic, Research and Education Center at UCSF, I oversee training of clinicians from around the world in high-resolution anoscopy, anal biopsy, and office-based treatment. I have an active international research program, including currently active studies in India, Costa Rica and Thailand. I have published over 275 papers and am the PI on several laboratory-based and clinical research studies of HPV-associated neoplasia, particularly in the setting of HIV infection.
I am currently the president of the International Papillomavirus Society and the founder and immediate past president of the International Anal Neoplasia Society. I have been the leader of the UCSF Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Clinical Research Fellowship Program for medical students since 2001; since 2006, I have led a T32 program devoted to training pre-doctoral students in clinical and translational research. These year-out programs provide support for an intensive year of coursework and project-oriented research with the goal of stimulating pre-doctoral students to pursue further training and careers in clinical and translational research.

Education

McGill University, Montreal, Canada, M.D.,C.M., 1980, Medicine
Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal, Canada, F.R.C.P(C), 1984, Internal Medicine
Stanford University, Stanford, CA, D.A.B.I.M. (Infec Dis), 1989, Medical Microbiology/Infectious Disease


Professional Experience

  • 1980 – 1983
    Residency in Internal Medicine, Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal, Canada
  • 1983 – 1984
    Post-doctoral Fellow, Dept of Microbiology & Immunology, McGill Univ., Montreal, Canada
  • 1984 – 1984
    Chief Medical Resident, Royal Victoria Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
  • 1985 – 1989
    Post-doctoral Fellow, Division of Infectious Diseases, Stanford University
  • 1989 – 1995
    Assistant Professor, Departments of Laboratory Medicine and Stomatology
  • 1990 – Present
    Director, UCSF Anal Neoplasia Clinic
  • 1995 – 1999
    Associate Professor, Departments of Laboratory Medicine and Stomatology
  • 1999 – Present
    Professor, Departments of Medicine, Laboratory Medicine and Stomatology
  • 1998 – 2006
    Program Director, UCSF General Clinical Research Center
  • 2006 – 2009
    Associate Dean for Clinical and Translational Research

Honors & Awards


  • 1976
    University Scholarship McGill University
  • 1985
    Medical Research Council of Canada Fellowship Medical Research Council of Canada
  • 1988
    American Social Health Association Fellowship American Social Health Association
  • 2003
    Elected to American Society for Clinical Investigation
  • 2005
    Award for excellence in small group instruction, UCSF
  • 2006, 2012
    Award of Merit American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology
  • 2008
    Award for excellence in small group instruction, UCSF
  • 2011
    Fieldhouse-Myers Oration Christian Medical College, Vellore, India
  • 2012
    Top Doctor (US News and World Report) (Infectious Diseases)
  • 2013
    America's Top Doctor, Castle and Connelly
  • 2013
    Super Doctor, San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Magazine
  • 2014
    Elected Member American Association of Physicians

Selected Publications

  1. Wechsler EI, Tugizov S, Herrera R, Da Costa M, Palefsky JM. E5 can be expressed in anal cancer and leads to epidermal growth factor receptor-induced invasion in a human papillomavirus 16-transformed anal epithelial cell line. J Gen Virol. 2018 Apr 06.
    View on PubMed
  2. Ortiz AP, González D, Vivaldi-Oliver J, Castañeda M, Rivera V, Díaz E, Centeno H, Muñoz C, Palefsky J, Joshipura K, Pérez CM. Periodontitis and oral human papillomavirus infection among Hispanic adults. Papillomavirus Res. 2018 Mar 16; 5:128-133.
    View on PubMed
  3. Ortiz AP, Tortolero-Luna G, Romaguera J, Pérez CM, González D, Muñoz C, González L, Marrero E, Suárez E, Palefsky JM, Panicker G, Unger ER. Seroprevalence of HPV 6, 11, 16 and 18 and correlates of exposure in unvaccinated women aged 16-64 years in Puerto Rico. Papillomavirus Res. 2018 Mar 16; 5:109-113.
    View on PubMed
  4. Patel P, Bush T, Kojic EM, Conley L, Unger ER, Darragh TM, Henry K, Hammer J, Escota G, Palefsky JM, Brooks JT. Prevalence, Incidence, and Clearance of Anal High-Risk Human Papillomavirus Infection Among HIV-Infected Men in the SUN Study. J Infect Dis. 2018 Mar 05; 217(6):953-963.
    View on PubMed
  5. Somia IKA, Teeratakulpisarn N, Jeo WS, Yee IA, Pankam T, Nonenoy S, Trachuntong D, Mingkwanrungrueng P, Sukmawati MDD, Ramautarsing R, Nilasari H, Hairunisa N, Azwa I, Yunihastuti E, Merati TP, Phanuphak P, Palefsky J, Phanuphak N. Prevalence of and risk factors for anal high-risk HPV among HIV-negative and HIV-positive MSM and transgender women in three countries at South-East Asia. Medicine (Baltimore). 2018 Mar; 97(10):e9898.
    View on PubMed
  6. Pérez-Caraballo AM, Suarez E, Unger ER, Palefsky JM, Panicker G, Ortiz AP. Seroprevalence of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Type 6, 11, 16, 18, by Anatomic Site of HPV Infection, in Women Aged 16-64 Years living in the Metropolitan Area of San Juan, Puerto Rico. P R Health Sci J. 2018 Mar; 37(1):26-31.
    View on PubMed
  7. Garland SM, Giuliano A, Brotherton J, Moscicki AB, Stanley M, Kaufmann AM, Bhatla N, Sankaranarayanan R, Palefsky JM, de Sanjose S. IPVS statement moving towards elimination of cervical cancer as a public health problem. Papillomavirus Res. 2018 Feb 27; 5:87-88.
    View on PubMed
  8. Chen JS, Ma E, Harrington LB, Da Costa M, Tian X, Palefsky JM, Doudna JA. CRISPR-Cas12a target binding unleashes indiscriminate single-stranded DNase activity. Science. 2018 Feb 15.
    View on PubMed
  9. Kojic EM, Conley L, Bush T, Cu-Uvin S, Unger ER, Henry K, Hammer J, Escota G, Darragh TM, Palefsky JM, Brooks JT, Patel P. Prevalence and Incidence of Anal and Cervical High-Risk Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Types covered by Current HPV Vaccines among HIV-Infected Women in the Study to Understand the Natural History of HIV/AIDS in the Era of Effective Therapy (The SUN Study). J Infect Dis. 2018 Feb 14.
    View on PubMed
  10. Williamson AL, Garland S, Palefsky J, Rybicki E, Stanley M, de Sanjosé S. The Cape Town declaration on human papillomavirus related disease. Papillomavirus Res. 2017 Dec 30; 5:59-60.
    View on PubMed
  11. Dube Mandishora RS, Christiansen IK, Chin'ombe N, Duri K, Ngara B, Rounge TB, Meisal R, Ambur OH, Palefsky JM, Stray-Pedersen B, Chirenje ZM. Genotypic diversity of anogenital human papillomavirus in women attending cervical cancer screening in Harare, Zimbabwe. J Med Virol. 2017 Sep; 89(9):1671-1677.
    View on PubMed
  12. Garland SM, Brotherton JML, Moscicki AB, Kaufmann AM, Stanley M, Bhatla N, Sankaranarayanan R, de Sanjosé S, Palefsky JM. HPV vaccination of immunocompromised hosts. Papillomavirus Res. 2017 Dec; 4:35-38.
    View on PubMed
  13. Robbins HA, Strickler HD, Massad LS, Pierce CB, Darragh TM, Minkoff H, Keller MJ, Fischl M, Palefsky J, Flowers L, Rahangdale L, Milam J, Shrestha S, Colie C, D'Souza G. Cervical cancer screening intervals and management for women living with HIV: a risk benchmarking approach. AIDS. 2017 Apr 24; 31(7):1035-1044.
    View on PubMed
  14. Raghavendran A, Hernandez AL, Lensing S, Gnanamony M, Karthik R, Sivasubramanian M, Kannangai R, Abraham P, Mathai D, Palefsky JM. Genital Human Papillomavirus Infection in Indian HIV-Seropositive Men Who Have Sex With Men. Sex Transm Dis. 2017 03; 44(3):173-180.
    View on PubMed
  15. Kahn JA, Lee J, Belzer M, Palefsky JM. HIV-Infected Young Men Demonstrate Appropriate Risk Perceptions and Beliefs about Safer Sexual Behaviors after Human Papillomavirus Vaccination. AIDS Behav. 2017 Feb 20.
    View on PubMed
  16. Palefsky JM. Human papillomavirus-associated anal and cervical cancers in HIV-infected individuals: incidence and prevention in the antiretroviral therapy era. Curr Opin HIV AIDS. 2017 Jan; 12(1):26-30.
    View on PubMed
  17. Wang CJ, Sparano J, Palefsky JM. Human Immunodeficiency Virus/AIDS, Human Papillomavirus, and Anal Cancer. Surg Oncol Clin N Am. 2017 Jan; 26(1):17-31.
    View on PubMed
  18. Sparano JA, Lee JY, Palefsky J, Henry DH, Wachsman W, Rajdev L, Aboulafia D, Ratner L, Fitzgerald TJ, Kachnic L, Mitsuyasu R. Cetuximab Plus Chemoradiotherapy for HIV-Associated Anal Carcinoma: A Phase II AIDS Malignancy Consortium Trial. J Clin Oncol. 2017 Mar; 35(7):727-733.
    View on PubMed
  19. Lee JY, Dhakal I, Casper C, Noy A, Palefsky JM, Haigentz M, Krown SE, Ambinder RF, Mitsuyasu RT. Risk of Cancer among Commercially Insured HIV-Infected Adults on Antiretroviral Therapy. J Cancer Epidemiol. 2016; 2016:2138259.
    View on PubMed
  20. Massad L, Keller M, Xie X, Minkoff H, Palefsky J, D'Souza G, Colie C, Villacres M, Strickler H. Multitype Infections With Human Papillomavirus: Impact of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Coinfection. Sex Transm Dis. 2016 10; 43(10):637-41.
    View on PubMed

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