Joel Ernst, MD

  • Professor of Medicine, UCSF
  • Chief, Division of Experimental Medicine
  • Standing Member, CFAR Internal Advisory Board


Our laboratory studies the mechanisms of protective and pathological immunity to Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that cause tuberculosis (TB). Even though TB can be treated and potentially cured, it still causes more human mortality than any other infectious disease, including HIV. Our goal is to inform development of effective TB vaccines, and for this we use mouse models and human translational immunology studies.

We use mouse models to discover and characterize mechanisms of immune evasion employed by M. tuberculosis to prevent immune responses from clearing the infection and establishing sterile immunity and memory.