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.

Research Funding

  • August 1, 2019 - July 31, 2024 - California-Mexico-Puerto Rico Partnership (CAMPO) Center for Prevention of HPV-related Cancer in HIV+ Populations , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: U54CA242646
  • August 1, 2016 - July 31, 2022 - (PQ4) Anal HPV infection and anal HSIL among HIV-infected MSM aged 50+ years , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA206477
  • June 1, 2017 - May 31, 2020 - New therapeutic HPV vaccines for HIV infected men and women , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA217715
  • January 13, 2017 - December 31, 2019 - The Microbiome and Anal Cancer Pathogenesis in HIV-infected Men who have Sex with Men , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R03CA203589


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

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. Stier EA, Jain M, Joshi H, Darragh TM, Deshmukh AA, Lee J, Einstein MH, Jay N, Berry-Lawhorn JM, Palefsky JM, Wilkin T, Ellsworth G, French AL, Barroso LF, Levine R, Guiot HM, Rezaei MK, Chiao E. Two-Year Incidence and Cumulative Risk and Predictors of Anal High-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions (anal precancer) among Women with HIV. Clin Infect Dis. 2023 Oct 08.  View on PubMed
  2. Inturrisi F, de Sanjosé S, Desai KT, Dagnall C, Egemen D, Befano B, Rodriguez AC, Jeronimo JA, Zuna RE, Hoffman A, Farhat Nozzari S, Walker JL, Perkins RB, Wentzensen N, Palefsky JM, Schiffman M. A rapid HPV typing assay to support global cervical cancer screening and risk-based management: A cross-sectional study. Int J Cancer. 2023 Sep 29.  View on PubMed
  3. Engels EA, Shiels MS, Barnabas RV, Bohlius J, Brennan P, Castilho J, Chanock SJ, Clarke MA, Coghill AE, Combes JD, Dryden-Peterson S, D'Souza G, Gopal S, Jaquet A, Lurain K, Makinson A, Martin J, Muchengeti M, Newton R, Okuku F, Orem J, Palefsky JM, Ramaswami R, Robbins HA, Sigel K, Silver S, Suneja G, Yarchoan R, Clifford GM. State of the science and future directions for research on HIV and cancer: Summary of a joint workshop sponsored by IARC and NCI. Int J Cancer. 2023 Sep 15.  View on PubMed
  4. Mukherjee A, Ye Y, Wiener HW, Kuniholm MH, Minkoff H, Michel K, Palefsky J, D'Souza G, Rahangdale L, Butler KR, Kempf MC, Sudenga SL, Aouizerat BE, Ojesina AI, Shrestha S. Variations in Genes Encoding Human Papillomavirus Binding Receptors and Susceptibility to Cervical Precancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2023 09 01; 32(9):1190-1197.  View on PubMed
  5. Haas CB, Engels EA, Palefsky JM, Clarke MA, Kreimer AR, Luo Q, Pfeiffer RM, Qiao B, Pawlish KS, Monterosso A, Shiels MS. Severe anal intraepithelial neoplasia trends and subsequent invasive anal cancer in the United States. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2023 Aug 26.  View on PubMed
  6. Schuind AE, Rees H, Schiller J, Mugo N, Dull P, Barnabas R, Clifford GM, Liu G, Madhi SA, Morse RB, Moscicki AB, Palefsky JM, Plotkin S, Sierra MS, Slifka MK, Vorsters A, Kreimer AR, Didierlaurent AM. State-of-the-Science of human papillomavirus vaccination in women with human immunodeficiency Virus: Summary of a scientific workshop. Prev Med Rep. 2023 Oct; 35:102331.  View on PubMed
  7. Dube Mandishora RS, Rounge TB, Fitzpatrick M, Christiansen IK, Ambur OH, Lagström S, Stray-Pedersen B, Tommasino M, Palefsky J, Chirenje ZM. Correction: Self-collected and clinician-collected anal swabs show modest agreement for HPV genotyping. PLoS One. 2023; 18(7):e0288418.  View on PubMed
  8. Haas CB, Engels EA, Horner MJ, Pfeiffer R, Luo Q, Kreimer A, Palefsky JM, Shiels M. Cumulative incidence of anal cancer since HIV or AIDS diagnosis in the United States. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2023 Jul 03.  View on PubMed
  9. Kanyabwisha F, Kim HY, Shi Q, Murenzi G, Tuyisenge P, Kubwimana G, Munyaneza A, Murangwa A, Turizigiye O, Da Costa M, Nsengiyumva B, Chen X, Mutesa L, Anastos KM, Palefsky JM. Comparison of AmpFire and MY09/11 assays for HPV genotyping in anogenital specimen of Rwandan men who have sex with men. Heliyon. 2023 May; 9(5):e16016.  View on PubMed
  10. Janczewski LM, Faski J, Nelson H, Gollub MJ, Eng C, Brierley JD, Palefsky JM, Goldberg RM, Washington MK, Asare EA, Goodman KA, American Joint Committee on Cancer Expert Panel on Cancers of the Lower Gastrointestinal, Anus Disea. Survival outcomes used to generate version 9 American Joint Committee on Cancer staging system for anal cancer. CA Cancer J Clin. 2023 Sep-Oct; 73(5):516-523.  View on PubMed
  11. Luckett R, Feldman S, Woo YL, Moscicki AB, Giuliano AR, de Sanjosé S, Kaufmann AM, Leung SOA, Garcia F, Chan K, Bhatla N, Stanley M, Brotherton J, Palefsky J, Garland S, International Papillomavirus Society (IPVS) Policy Committee. COVID-19 as a catalyst for reimagining cervical cancer prevention. Elife. 2023 04 18; 12.  View on PubMed
  12. Atkinson TM, Lensing S, Lee JY, Chang D, Kim SY, Li Y, Lynch KA, Webb A, Holland SM, Lubetkin EI, Goldstone S, Einstein MH, Stier EA, Wiley DJ, Mitsuyasu R, Rosa-Cunha I, Aboulafia DM, Dhanireddy S, Schouten JT, Levine R, Gardner E, Logan J, Dunleavy H, Barroso LF, Bucher G, Korman J, Stearn B, Wilkin TJ, Ellsworth G, Pugliese JC, Arons A, Burkhalter JE, Cella D, Berry-Lawhorn JM, Palefsky JM. Construct validity and responsiveness of a health-related symptom index for persons either treated or monitored for anal high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL): AMC-A01/-A03. Qual Life Res. 2023 Aug; 32(8):2293-2304.  View on PubMed
  13. Wei F, Xia N, Ocampo R, Goodman MT, Hessol NA, Grinsztejn B, Ortiz AP, Zhao F, Kojic EM, Kaul R, Heard I, Morhason-Bello IO, Moscicki AB, de Pokomandy A, Palefsky JM, Rodrigues LLS, Dube Mandishora RS, Ramautarsing RA, Franceschi S, Godbole SV, Tso FK, Menezes LJ, Lin C, Clifford GM. Age-Specific Prevalence of Anal and Cervical Human Papillomavirus Infection and High-Grade Lesions in 11 177 Women by Human Immunodeficiency Virus Status: A Collaborative Pooled Analysis of 26 Studies. J Infect Dis. 2023 02 14; 227(4):488-497.  View on PubMed
  14. Wei F, Goodman MT, Xia N, Zhang J, Giuliano AR, D'Souza G, Hessol NA, Schim van der Loeff MF, Dai J, Neukam K, de Pokomandy A, Poynten IM, Geskus RB, Burgos J, Etienney I, Moscicki AB, Donà MG, Gillison ML, Nyitray AG, Nowak RG, Yunihastuti E, Zou H, Hidalgo-Tenorio C, Phanuphak N, Molina JM, Schofield AM, Kerr S, Fan S, Lu Y, Ong JJ, Chikandiwa AT, Teeraananchai S, Squillace N, Wiley DJ, Palefsky JM, Georges D, Alberts CJ, Clifford GM. Incidence and Clearance of Anal Human Papillomavirus Infection in 16 164 Individuals, According to Human Immunodeficiency Virus Status, Sex, and Male Sexuality: An International Pooled Analysis of 34 Longitudinal Studies. Clin Infect Dis. 2023 02 08; 76(3):e692-e701.  View on PubMed
  15. Chowdhury S, Darragh TM, Berry-Lawhorn JM, Isaguliants MG, Vonsky MS, Hilton JF, Lazar AA, Palefsky JM. HPV Type Distribution in Benign, High-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions and Squamous Cell Cancers of the Anus by HIV Status. Cancers (Basel). 2023 Jan 20; 15(3).  View on PubMed
  16. Lin LL, Ndlovu N, Lowenstein J, Wirth M, Lee J, Stier EA, Garg M, Kotzen J, Kadzatsa W, Palefsky J, Krown SE, Einstein MH. Quality Assurance in Clinical Trials Requiring Radiation Therapy in Sub-Saharan Africa. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2023 06 01; 116(2):439-447.  View on PubMed
  17. Hernandez AL, Weatherly CS, Burrowes S, Jimenez JL, Gonzalez R, Palefsky JM. "The problem is that our culture is just so messed up about aging." Recruiting older men who have sex with men (MSM) into research studies: an example from a study of aging, HIV, and anal HPV. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2022 11 18; 22(1):296.  View on PubMed
  18. Lien K, Mayer W, Herrera R, Padilla NT, Cai X, Lin V, Pholcharoenchit R, Palefsky J, Tugizov SM. HIV-1 Proteins gp120 and Tat Promote Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition and Invasiveness of HPV-Positive and HPV-Negative Neoplastic Genital and Oral Epithelial Cells. Microbiol Spectr. 2022 12 21; 10(6):e0362222.  View on PubMed
  19. Atkinson TM, Lynch KA, Vera J, Olivares NM, Webb A, Diamond LC, González J, Lubetkin EI, Bucher G, Rosa-Cunha I, Berry-Lawhorn JM, Levine R, Aboulafia D, Schouten J, Holland SM, Cella D, Palefsky JM. Linguistic validation of the Spanish version of the Anal Cancer High-Grade squamous intraepithelial lesions outcomes Research Health-Related Symptom Index (A-HRSI): AMC-A04. J Patient Rep Outcomes. 2022 Oct 11; 6(1):108.  View on PubMed
  20. Palefsky JM, Lee JY, ANCHOR Investigators Group. Prevention of Anal Cancer. Reply. N Engl J Med. 2022 08 18; 387(7):666-667.  View on PubMed

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