Joel Ernst, MD

Co-Principal Investigator, Administrative Core Co-Director, Project 2 Director

Professor and Chief

Division of Experimental Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA


Dr. Ernst has studied innate and adaptive immunity to TB since the early 1990's, and has contributed to understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying initiation and evasion of antigen-specific CD4 T cell responses in TB. Recently, he and his collaborators discovered that, in contrast to other pathogens, the overwhelming majority of human T cell epitopes in Mtb are conserved, and do not vary in response to T cell recognition. That discovery has prompted him to initiate new projects on human TB immunology in the Gambia and South Africa. Dr. Ernst was also the co-founder (with Dr. Rengarajan) of the International Conference on Human Immunity to Tuberculosis, held in Atlanta in 2012, with more than 160 attendees from 13 countries.