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

  • September 12, 2019 - July 31, 2024 - California-Mexico-Puerto Rico Partnership (CAMPO) Center for Prevention of HPV-related Cancer in HIV+ Populations, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: U54CA242646
  • August 1, 2016 - July 31, 2021 - (PQ4) Anal HPV infection and anal HSIL among HIV-infected MSM aged 50+ years, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA206477
  • June 1, 2017 - May 31, 2020 - New therapeutic HPV vaccines for HIV infected men and women, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, Sponsor Award ID: R01CA217715
  • January 13, 2017 - December 31, 2018 - The Microbiome and Anal Cancer Pathogenesis in HIV-infected Men who have Sex with Men, Principal Investigator. Sponsor: NIH/NCI, 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. Tota JE, Giuliano AR, Goldstone SE, Dubin B, Saah A, Luxembourg A, Velicer C, Palefsky JM. Anogenital HPV Infection, Seroprevalence, and Risk Factors for HPV Seropositivity Among Sexually Active Men Enrolled in a Global HPV Vaccine Trial. Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Jul 15.  View on PubMed
  2. Hernandez AL, Karthik R, Sivasubramanian M, Raghavendran A, Lensing S, Lee JY, Abraham P, Mathai D, Palefsky JM. Prevalence of oral human papillomavirus infection among Indian HIV-positive men who have sex with men: a cross-sectional study. BMC Infect Dis. 2021 Jul 12; 21(1):675.  View on PubMed
  3. Larsen HK, Hædersdal M, Thomsen LT, Hertzum-Larsen R, Lok TT, Bonde J, Sørensen SS, Hansen JM, Palefsky JM, Kjær SK. Risk of Anal High-grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions Among Renal Transplant Recipients Compared With Immunocompetent Controls. Clin Infect Dis. 2021 07 01; 73(1):21-29.  View on PubMed
  4. Ellsworth GB, Stier EA, Chiao EY, Lensing SY, Darragh T, Jay N, Berry-Lawhorn JM, Einstein M, Barroso LF, Cranston RD, Levine R, Guiot HM, French AL, Goldstone SE, Preiser W, Claassen M, Palefsky JM, Wilkin TJ, AIDS Malignancy Consortium . Xpert HPV as a Screening Tool for Anal Histologic High-Grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions in Women Living With HIV. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2021 07 01; 87(3):978-984.  View on PubMed
  5. Isaguliants M, Nosik M, Karlsen A, Petrakova N, Enaeva M, Lebedeva N, Podchufarova D, Laga V, Gromov K, Nazarov A, Chowdhury S, Sinitsyn M, Sobkin A, Chistyakova N, Aleshina S, Grabarnik A, Palefsky JM. Prevalence and Risk Factors of Infection with High Risk Human Papilloma Viruses among HIV-Positive Women with Clinical Manifestations of Tuberculosis in a Middle-Income Country. Biomedicines. 2021 Jun 16; 9(6).  View on PubMed
  6. Palefsky JM, Poongulali S, Lensing S, Lee J, Da Costa M, Chein A, Beulah F, Murugavel KG, Kumarasamy N. AIDS Malignancy Consortium 054: Safety and Immunogenicity of the Quadrivalent Vaccine in Indian Women Living With HIV. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2021 06 01; 87(2):875-881.  View on PubMed
  7. Palefsky JM, Lensing SY, Belzer M, Lee J, Gaur AH, Mayer K, Futterman D, Stier EA, Paul ME, Chiao EY, Reirden D, Goldstone SE, Tirado M, Cachay ER, Barroso LF, Da Costa M, Darragh TM, Rudy BJ, Wilson CM, Kahn JA, AIDS Malignancy Consortium and Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions . High prevalence of anal high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions, and prevention through human papillomavirus vaccination, in young men who have sex with men living with HIV. Clin Infect Dis. 2021 May 15.  View on PubMed
  8. Strickler HD, Keller MJ, Hessol NA, Eltoum IE, Einstein MH, Castle PE, Massad LS, Flowers L, Rahangdale L, Atrio JM, Ramirez C, Minkoff H, Adimora AA, Ofotokun I, Colie C, Huchko MJ, Fischl M, Wright R, D'Souza G, Leider J, Diaz O, Sanchez-Keeland L, Shrestha S, Xie X, Xue X, Anastos K, Palefsky JM, Burk RD. Primary HPV and Molecular Cervical Cancer Screening in US Women Living With Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Clin Infect Dis. 2021 05 04; 72(9):1529-1537.  View on PubMed
  9. Dube Mandishora RS, Rounge TB, Fitzpatrick M, Christiansen IK, Ambur OH, Lagström S, Stray-Pedersen B, Tommasino M, Palefsky J, Chirenje ZM. Self-collected and clinician-collected anal swabs show modest agreement for HPV genotyping. PLoS One. 2021; 16(4):e0250426.  View on PubMed
  10. Munyaneza A, Adedimeji A, Kim HY, Shi Q, Hoover DR, Ross J, Murchison L, Murenzi G, Kabahizi J, Gasana J, Nsengiyumva B, Kubwimana G, Kanyabwisha F, Muhoza B, Ingabire C, Mutesa L, Castle PE, Palefsky JM, Anastos K, Patel VV. Awareness and Willingness to Use HIV Pre-exposure Prophylaxis Among Men Who Have Sex With Men in Rwanda: A Cross-Sectional Descriptive Survey. J Assoc Nurses AIDS Care. 2021 Jan 13.  View on PubMed
  11. Finneran C, Johnson Peretz J, Blemur D, Palefsky J, Flowers L. "That's Only for Women": The Importance of Educating HIV-Positive Sexual Minority Men on HPV and High Resolution Anoscopy (HRA). J Int Assoc Provid AIDS Care. 2021 Jan-Dec; 20:23259582211016134.  View on PubMed
  12. Chiao EY, Lensing SY, Wiley DJ, Deshmukh AA, Lee J, Darragh TM, Einstein MH, Jay N, Berry-Lawhorn JM, Palefsky JM, Wilkin T, Barroso LF, Cranston RD, Levine R, Guiot HM, French AL, Citron D, Rezaei MK, Goldstone SE, Stier EA. Screening strategies for the detection of anal high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions in women living with HIV. AIDS. 2020 12 01; 34(15):2249-2258.  View on PubMed
  13. Yunihastuti E, Teeratakulpisarn N, Jeo WS, Nilasari H, Rachmadi L, Somia IKA, Sukmawati MDD, Amijaya KAT, Yee IA, Hairunisa N, Hongchookiat P, Trachunthong D, Pankam T, Nonenoy S, Ramautarsing R, Azwa I, Merati TP, Phanuphak P, Phanuphak N, Palefsky JM. Incidence, clearance, persistence and factors related with high-risk anal HPV persistence in South-East Asian MSM and transgender women. AIDS. 2020 11 01; 34(13):1933-1941.  View on PubMed
  14. Murenzi G, Kim HY, Munyaneza A, Tuyisenge P, Zawadi TM, Buteera AM, Adedimeji A, Mutesa L, Castle PE, Anastos K, Palefsky JM. Anogenital Human Papillomavirus and HIV Infection in Rwandan Men Who Have Sex With Men. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2020 08 15; 84(5):463-469.  View on PubMed
  15. Deshmukh AA, Suk R, Shiels MS, Sonawane K, Nyitray AG, Liu Y, Gaisa MM, Palefsky JM, Sigel K. Recent Trends in Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Anus Incidence and Mortality in the United States, 2001-2015. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2020 08 01; 112(8):829-838.  View on PubMed
  16. Hillman R, Cuming T, Jay N, Goldstone S, Berry-Lawhorn M, Barroso L, Nathan M, Palefsky J. Do we really need guidelines for high resolution anoscopy during the COVID-19 pandemic? - Response. Colorectal Dis. 2020 09; 22(9):1024-1025.  View on PubMed
  17. Nowak RG, Schumaker LM, Ambulos NP, Ndembi N, Dauda W, Nnaji CH, Mitchell A, Mathias TJ, Jibrin P, Darragh TM, Olaomi O, Crowell TA, Baral SD, Charurat ME, Bentzen SM, Palefsky JM, Cullen KJ, TRUST/RV368 Study Group . Multiple HPV infections among men who have sex with men engaged in anal cancer screening in Abuja, Nigeria. Papillomavirus Res. 2020 12; 10:100200.  View on PubMed
  18. Stier EA, Lensing SY, Darragh TM, Deshmukh AA, Einstein MH, Palefsky JM, Jay N, Berry-Lawhorn JM, Wilkin T, Wiley DJ, Barroso LF, Cranston RD, Levine R, Guiot HM, French AL, Citron D, Rezaei MK, Goldstone SE, Chiao E. Prevalence of and Risk Factors for Anal High-grade Squamous Intraepithelial Lesions in Women Living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Clin Infect Dis. 2020 04 10; 70(8):1701-1707.  View on PubMed
  19. Kelly H, Chikandiwa A, Alemany Vilches L, Palefsky JM, de Sanjose S, Mayaud P. Association of antiretroviral therapy with anal high-risk human papillomavirus, anal intraepithelial neoplasia, and anal cancer in people living with HIV: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet HIV. 2020 04; 7(4):e262-e278.  View on PubMed
  20. Nowak RG, Nnaji CH, Dauda W, Mitchell A, Olaomi O, Jibrin P, Crowell TA, Baral SD, Ndembi N, Charurat ME, Palefsky JM, Bentzen SM, Cullen KJ, TRUST/RV368 Study Group . Satisfaction with high-resolution anoscopy for anal cancer screening among men who have sex with men: a cross-sectional survey in Abuja, Nigeria. BMC Cancer. 2020 Feb 05; 20(1):98.  View on PubMed

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