About Us

anal, anal cancer, hsil, anosocopy, hra,

Joel Palefsky, MD, CM, F.R.C.P

Dr. Joel Palefsky is the Chair of the HPV Working Group of the AMC and is the head of the AMC HPV Virology Core Lab. He has extensive experience in studying the biology of HPV infection, HPV infection in HIV-positive men and women, HPV vaccines and in the design and implementation of clinical research trials of HPV-related disease. He has published over 250 papers and is the PI on several laboratory-based and clinical research studies of HPV-associated neoplasia, particularly in the setting of HIV infection. Anal dysplasia occurs in men and women and is especially common among patients infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). He also specializes in the biology and development of new treatments for HPV and Epstein-Barr virus. He is the founder and president of the International Anal Neoplasia Society and President-elect of the International Human Papillomavirus Society. Dr. Palefsky plays an active role in promoting student research programs at UCSF, advising and recruiting students supervising their research and providing active career guidance. He has won numerous student teaching awards.

anchor study, anal cancer, hsil, anoscopy

J. Michael Berry-Lawhorn, MD

Dr. J. Michael Berry-Lawhorn is a Clinical Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology Oncology, and Associate Director HPV-Related Clinical Studies at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He is Principal Investigator of the San Francisco ANCHOR site and Protocol Co-Chair of the ANCHOR study.

Dr. Berry-Lawhorn is an internist and anal dysplasia specialist who has helped pioneer the technique of high-resolution anoscopy to examine and biopsy abnormalities in the anal canal. He is involved in studies to develop and evaluate more effective and better-tolerated therapies for anal dysplasia.

He has spent over 20 years specializing in the management of anal precancerous lesions and the early detection and treatment of anal cancer. He is a principal faculty member of the ASCCP course in high-resolution anoscopy (HRA) and the IANS HRA course designed to teach the skills of HRA in managing all phases of anal neoplasia to all levels of providers. He has a very busy clinic practice dedicated to this field and often sees the most complicated patients in the practice and also attends in the operating room to guide HRA-guided ablation and excision of worrisome lesions to rule out cancer.

Dr. Berry-Lawhorn earned a medical degree at the University of Miami School of Medicine. He completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and a fellowship in oncology at Stanford University.

anal cancer, hsil, dysplasia, anoscopy

Naomi Jay, RN, NP, PhD

Naomi Jay is a nurse practitioner in the UCSF Division of Medicine. A New Yorker by birth, she completed high school in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and her undergraduate work at McGill University in Montreal. After a 5-year sojourn in Israel growing wine grapes on Kibbutz Gezer, she attended graduate school at the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions where she received a Masters in Nursing, specializing in Women's Health in 1989. She then completed her doctorate in nursing at UCSF in 2007. Since 1991 she has worked in San Francisco with Drs. Palefsky and Berry, pioneering the use of the colposcope in the detection and diagnosis of HPV-related diseases in the anal canal. She has also worked in cervical HPV clinical studies of adolescents and young women. She currently divides her time between a busy practice in the UCSF Anal Neoplasia Clinic Research and Education Center (ANCRE), where she is a provider of colposcopy and high-resolution anoscopy, and HPV-related research trials which have included the natural history of HPV-related anal disease in men and women, and treatment studies using vaccines, infrared coagulation, and topical medications. Dr. Jay has a particular interest in the use of Traditional Chinese Medicine and other alternative therapies and has worked on several studies evaluating the efficacy of TCM creams for treatment of anal dysplasia. In her spare time she gardens.

Cristina Brickman, MD 

Dr. Cristina Brickman is an infectious disease specialist. She treats patients both in the Infectious Disease Clinic at Parnassus and the ANCRE clinic, where she specializes in the evaluation and treatment of anal dysplasia. She also treats inpatients at UCSF Medical Center at Mission Bay several weeks a year.

Brickman is board certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. She received her M.D. from Columbia University. She completed a residency in internal medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, followed by a fellowship in infectious diseases at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. She is expected to receive her Master's of Science in Clinical Epidemiology from the University of Pennsylvania in May 2015.

As part of her master's degree, Brickman completed two research projects: The first evaluated the treatment and outcomes of HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer in patients with HIV and the second looked at the association between depression and sexual risk behavior, also in patients with HIV. Currently, Brickman's research work focuses on the epidemiology of HPV infection and its progression to malignancy, particularly in patients with HIV. Her work is aimed at identifying risk factors associated with progression of dysplasia to invasive cancer. She is also interested in studying anal cancer risk in both the very young and old in high-risk populations, with the goal of optimizing screening practices for anal cancer.

Chia-Ching "Jackie" Wang, MD

Dr. Chia-Ching "Jackie" Wang is a medical oncologist. She provides cancer screening with high-resolution anoscopy as well as treatment of anal cancer. Her research work focuses on HIV oncology, particularly HPV-related cancers, but she has also completed research on lymphoma and Kaposi's sarcoma. She also has a special interest in superficially invasive squamous cell carcinoma of the anus and post-treatment surveillance.

Wang received her medical degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. After medical school, she began an obstetrics and gynecology residency at Women and Infants Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. After one year, she decided to focus her career on HIV-related work. She completed a research fellowship at The Miriam Hospital, followed by a residency in internal medicine at Brown University. After working for a year as a hospitalist, she came to UCSF for a hematology-oncology fellowship. She is a clinical instructor in hematology-oncology at San Francisco General Hospital/UCSF. She is also a member of the American Society of Hematology, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Medical Association.

Jason Kauffmann, DO

Biography coming soon!