William E. Bunney

picture of William E. Bunney

Distinguished Professor, Psychiatry & Human Behavior
School of Medicine

M.D., University of Pennsylvania

Phone: (949) 824-4242
Fax: (949) 824-1787
Email: webunney@uci.edu

University of California, Irvine
D438 Medical Sciences 1
Mail Code: 1675
Irvine, CA 92697-1675
Research Interests
The pathophysiology and treatment of the serious mental disorders Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, and Major Depressive Disorder using brain imaging, and genetic and genomic approaches.
Research Abstract
Dr. Bunney’s major research interests involve work on serious psychiatric disorders – major depressive disorder (MDD), bipolar disorder (BPD) and schizophrenia. These include studies on diagnosis, rapid treatment strategies, etiology, brain imaging studies, genetic and genomic research, biomarkers, the role of clock gene abnormalities in MDD and the investigation of brain circuitry alterations. Dr. Bunney received his medical degree from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and completed his residency in psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine.

Following his residency, Dr. Bunney was recruited by Dr. David Hamburg to the Intramural Program of the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH), where he later held several leadership positions, including three years as Director of the Division of Narcotic Addiction and Drug Abuse. During his tenure, his division expanded the number of drug addiction treatment centers six-fold throughout the nation and established eight university-based research programs on substance abuse.

At the University of California Irvine, Dr. Bunney currently serves as Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and as Associate Dean for Research Administration and Development for the School of Medicine. Dr. Bunney received a number of national and international research awards including the APA Hofheimer Research Award, the International Anna-Monika Award and the NARSAD Nora Maddox Falcone Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Affective Disorders Research. He was awarded the 2011 Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health from the National Academy of Medicine / National Academy of Sciences, the 2012 Pioneer Award from the Collegium Internationale Neuropsycho-pharmacologicum (CINP) and the 2012 Yale Distinguished Alumni Award. In 2015 Dr. Bunney was the recipient of the Payne Whitney Clinic Award for Extraordinary Public Service, from the Department of Psychiatry, Weill Medical College of Cornell University. In 2016 Dr. Bunney received the Distinguished Graduate Award from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, from which he received his medical degree.

Elected to the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Bunney was subsequently designated the prestigious title of Lifetime National Associate of the National Academies. He was also appointed for a term as Executive Vice President of the National Academies Corporation. He was elected President of national and international societies including the Psychiatric Research Society, the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and the international organization CINP. Dr. Bunney is the author of more than 455 scientific publications that have been cited over 44,383 times. His H factor (from Google Scholar database) score is 114 (114 papers cited over 114 times); 55 papers were cited between 200 and 1466 times.

Dr. Bunney continues to be actively involved in research and has had many publications in major journals over the last three years. He is the senior author on a notable paper presenting the first direct evidence for clock gene abnormalities in major depressive disorder, which has been ranked in the top 98 percent of all downloads published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Bunney’s work has provided extensive evidence and insight into the etiology and pathophysiology of the major psychiatric disorders.
Available Technologies
Reist C, Mee S, Fujimoto K, Ranjani V, Bunney WE, Bunney BG. Assessment of Psychological Pain in Suicidal Veterans. PLOS One. May 2017, In Press. PONE-D-16-42578R2
Orozco-Solis R, Montelier E, Aguilar-Arnal L, Sato S, Vawter MP, Bunney BG, Bunney WE, Sassone-Corsi P. A circadian genomic signature common to ketamine and sleep deprivation in the anterior cingulate cortex. Biol Psychiatry. 2017 Mar 1. pii: S0006-3223(17)31349-5. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2017.02.1176. PMID: 28395871.
Bowling K, Hagenauer M, Hardigan AA, Davis NS, Gertz J, Cartagena PM, Walsh DM, Vawter MP, Jones EG (dc), Schatzberg AF, Barchas JD, Watson SJ, Bunney BG, Akil H, Bunney WE, Li JZ, Cooper SJ, Myers RM. Post-mortem molecular profiling of three psychiatric disorders reveals widespread dysregulation of cell-type associated transcripts and refined disease-related transcription changes. Genome Medicine 2017 In Press.
Li JZ, Bunney BG, Meng F, Hagenauer MH, Walsh DM, Vawter MP, Evans SJ, Choudary PV, Cartagena P, Barchas JD, Schatzberg AF, Jones EG, Myers RM, Watson SJ, Akil H, Bunney WE. Circadian patterns of gene expression in the human brain and disruption in major depressive disorder. PNAS / doi:10.1073/ PNAS 1305814110, May 2013
Bunney BG, Bunney WE. Mechanisms of Rapid Antidepressant Effects of Sleep Deprivation Therapy: Clock Genes and Circadian Rhythms. Biol Psychiatry. June 2013
Sequeira A, Martin MV, Rollins B, Moon EA, Bunney WE, Macciardi F, et al. Mitochondrial mutations and polymorphisms in psychiatric disorders. Frontiers in Genetics. 2012;3:103.
Sequeira a, Morgan L, Walsh DM, Cartagena PM, Choudary P, Li J, Schatzberg AF, Watson SJ, Akil H, Myers RM, Jones EG, Bunney WE, Vawter MP. Gene Expression Changes in the Prefrontal Cortex, Anterior Cingulate Cortex and Nucleus Accumbens of Mood Disorders Subjects That Committed Suicide. PLOS ONE Volume: 7 Issue: 4 Article Number: e35367 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0035367 April 2012
Mee S, Bunney BG, Bunney WE, Hetrick W, Potkin SG, Reist C. Assessment of psychological pain in major depressive episodes. Journal of Psychiatric Research. Doi:10.1016/j.psychires .2011.06.011. November 2011.
Bellet MM, Vawter MP, Bunney BG, Bunney WE, Sassone-Corsi P. Ketamine Influences CLOCK:BMAL1 Function Leading to Altered Circadian Gene Expression. PLoS ONE 11-13223R1 10.1371/journal.pone.0023982. Aug 2011.
Bernard R, Kerman IA, Thompson RC, Jones EG, Bunney WE, Barchas JD, Schatzberg AF, Myers RM, Akil H, Watson SJ. Altered expression of glutamate signaling, growth factor, and glia genes in the locus coeruleus of patients with major depression. Mol Psych. Volume: 16 Issue: 6 Pages: 634-646 DOI: 10.1038/mp.2010.44 Published: Jun 2011
Last updated