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 Immunology | 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. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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 Mar; 44(3):173-180.
    View on PubMed
  4. 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
  5. Garg MK, Zhao F, Sparano JA, Palefsky J, Whittington R, Mitchell EP, Mulcahy MF, Armstrong KI, Nabbout NH, Kalnicki S, El-Rayes BF, Onitilo AA, Moriarty DJ, Fitzgerald TJ, Benson AB. Cetuximab Plus Chemoradiotherapy in Immunocompetent Patients With Anal Carcinoma: A Phase II Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group-American College of Radiology Imaging Network Cancer Research Group Trial (E3205). J Clin Oncol. 2017 Mar; 35(7):718-726.
    View on PubMed
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. Haga T, Efird JT, Tugizov S, Palefsky JM. Increased TNF-alpha and sTNFR2 levels are associated with high-grade anal squamous intraepithelial lesions in HIV-positive patients with low CD4 level. Papillomavirus Res. 2017 Jun; 3:1-6.
    View on PubMed
  9. 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
  10. 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 Oct; 43(10):637-41.
    View on PubMed
  11. Hillman RJ, Cuming T, Darragh T, Nathan M, Berry-Lawthorn M, Goldstone S, Law C, Palefsky J, Barroso LF, Stier EA, Bouchard C, Almada J, Jay N. 2016 IANS International Guidelines for Practice Standards in the Detection of Anal Cancer Precursors. J Low Genit Tract Dis. 2016 Oct; 20(4):283-91.
    View on PubMed
  12. Reimers LL, Mehta SD, Massad LS, Burk RD, Xie X, Ravel J, Cohen MH, Palefsky JM, Weber KM, Xue X, Anastos K, Minkoff H, Atrio J, D'Souza G, Ye Q, Colie C, Zolnik CP, Spear GT, Strickler HD. The Cervicovaginal Microbiota and Its Associations With Human Papillomavirus Detection in HIV-Infected and HIV-Uninfected Women. J Infect Dis. 2016 Nov 01; 214(9):1361-1369.
    View on PubMed
  13. Hernandez AL, Karthik R, Sivasubramanian M, Raghavendran A, Gnanamony M, Lensing S, Lee JY, Kannangai R, Abraham P, Mathai D, Palefsky JM. Prevalence of Anal HPV Infection Among HIV-Positive Men Who Have Sex With Men in India. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2016 Apr 01; 71(4):437-43.
    View on PubMed
  14. Wang CC, Palefsky JM. Human papillomavirus-related oropharyngeal cancer in the HIV-infected population. Oral Dis. 2016 Apr; 22 Suppl 1:98-106.
    View on PubMed
  15. Brickman C, Palefsky JM. Cancer in the HIV-Infected Host: Epidemiology and Pathogenesis in the Antiretroviral Era. Curr HIV/AIDS Rep. 2015 Dec; 12(4):388-96.
    View on PubMed
  16. Massad LS, Xie X, Burk RD, D'Souza G, Darragh TM, Minkoff H, Colie C, Burian P, Palefsky J, Atrio J, Strickler HD. Association of cervical precancer with human papillomavirus types other than 16 among HIV co-infected women. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2016 Mar; 214(3):354.e1-6.
    View on PubMed
  17. Lahiri CD, Dugan KB, Xie X, Reimers L, Burk RD, Anastos K, Massad LS, Eltoum IE, Xue X, D'Souza G, Flowers L, Palefsky JM, Rahangdale L, Strickler HD, Ofotokun I. Oral Lopinavir Use and Human Papillomavirus Infection in HIV-Positive Women. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2015 Oct 01; 70(2):e63-6.
    View on PubMed
  18. Bennetts LE, Wagner M, Giuliano AR, Palefsky JM, Steben M, Weiss TW. Associations of Anogenital Low-Risk Human Papillomavirus Infection With Cancer and Acquisition of HIV. Sex Transm Dis. 2015 Oct; 42(10):541-4.
    View on PubMed
  19. Ortiz AP, Marrero E, Muñoz C, Pérez CM, Tortolero-Luna G, Romaguera J, Rodríguez N, González-Falero A, Palefsky J, Suárez E. Methods in HPV Surveillance: Experiences from a Population-Based Study of HPV Infection among Women in the San Juan Metropolitan Area of Puerto Rico. P R Health Sci J. 2015 Sep; 34(3):117-27.
    View on PubMed
  20. Colón-López V, Ortiz AP, Del Toro-Mejías L, Clatts M, Durán-Guzmán G, Pérez N, DaCosta M, Palefsky J. Prevalence and Correlates of Penile HPV Infection in a Clinic-Based Sample of Hispanic Males. P R Health Sci J. 2015 Sep; 34(3):128-34.
    View on PubMed

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