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Joel M. Palefsky


Director, Anal Neoplasia Clinic, Research and Education (ANCRE) Center
Infectious disease physician
Clinician, researcher, and fan of good literature and bagels

Dr. Joel Palefsky is an expert in infectious diseases and cancers associated with these diseases. He is an internationally recognized expert on the biology, treatment, progression and history of human papillomavirus (HPV) infections of the anus and genitals, particularly in the setting of HIV infection. He directs the UCSF Anal Neoplasia Clinic, Research and Education (ANCRE) Center, the world's first clinic devoted to anal cancer prevention.

Palefsky's research focuses on the biology and treatment of anal cancer. He is vice chair of the AIDS Malignancy Consortium, a research group supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that investigates new treatments for AIDS-related cancers, and chair of the Anal Cancer/HSIL Outcomes Research (ANCHOR) Study, a multisite NCI study examining whether treating anal cancer precursor lesions prevents the development of anal cancer and seeking to identify biomarkers of cancer progression.

Palefsky earned his medical degree at McGill University and completed a fellowship in infectious diseases at Stanford University.

Palefsky is founder and past president of the International Anal Neoplasia Society. He is also past president of the International Papillomavirus Society and founder and chairperson of its international campaign for HPV awareness.

  • Education

    McGill University, 1984

  • Residencies

    McGill University, Internal Medicine, 1984

  • Fellowships

    Stanford University, Infectious Disease, 1988

  • Board Certifications

    Infectious Disease, American Board of Internal Medicine

    Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine

  • Academic Title


  • Languages


A life helping others and contributing to our collective knowledge is a life well lived.

Where I see patients (1)

    My reviews


    Overall Experience
    84 Ratings
    Explained things in a way that was easy to understand
    84 Ratings
    Did the doctor pay attention to your concerns
    84 Ratings
    Gave easy to understand instructions about taking care of health problems or concerns
    78 Ratings
    Knew the important information about your medical history
    84 Ratings
    The provider showed respect for what you had to say
    83 Ratings
    The provider spent enough time with me
    84 Ratings