Joel Ernst, MD

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

Jeffrey Bergstein Professor of Medicine (Infectious Diseases), Pathology and Microbiology; Director of Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology

Director, Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology

Department of Medicine, NYU School of Medicine


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. He is the former Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology at NYU, where he led the clinical, training, and research programs in infectious diseases for the School of Medicine and 3 urban hospitals in New York City. 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.