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Professor David Gunnell

Professor David Gunnell

Professor David Gunnell
M.B.,Ch.B., Ph.D.(Bristol), FFPH, M.R.C.G.P., M.F.P.H.M., DSc, F Med Sci

Professor of Epidemiology

Office 3.11
Canynge Hall,
39 Whatley Road, Bristol BS8 2PS
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 928 7253


Activities / Findings

Gunnell D, Hawton K, Kapur N, Donovan J, Potokar J, Hollingworth W, Lennon S, Davies R, Cooper J, Saunders K, Davies L, Metcalfe C, Longson D, Claydon D, O’Connor R. A multi-centre programme of clinical and public health research to guide health service priorities for preventing suicide in England NIHR 2012. April 2012-March 2017. £1,765,660

Iredale J, Sterne J, Angelini G, Ness A, Gunnell D, Lawlor D, Blazeby J. NIHR Biomedical Research Centre Bristol 1 April 2017-31 March 2021. £20,000,000 (Mental Health Theme: £2,170,000)

Campbell R, Jago R, Hickman M, Ben Shlomo Y, Gunnell D. NIHR School for Public Health Research II 2017-2022 Bristol budget £1,537,500

Kidger J, Gunnell D, Campbell R, Tilling K,  Hollingworth W, Murphy S, Evans R,  Ford T, Araya R. A cluster randomised controlled trial of an intervention to improve the mental health support and training available to secondary school teachers - the WISE (Wellbeing in Secondary Education) project. NIHR Public Health Research Programme. £1,296,600 1/12/15 - 30/04/19 (Ref: NIHR PHR 13/164/06)

Thomas K, Caldwell D, Welton N,  Munafo M, Gunnell D, Stevenson MD.  How do smoking cessation medicines compare with respect to their neuropsychiatric safety: a systematic review, network meta-analysis and cost effectiveness analysis. NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme (Ref: 15/58/18) £323,834 1 Sept 2016-31 Oct 2018

Caldwell D, Gunnell D,  Campbell R et al.  A network meta-analysis of complex interventions to improve mental health and emotional well-being of school aged children: evaluation of effective and cost-effective components. NIHR PHR. £296,668 To start Sept 2016 (University of Bristol and UCL).  

Mars B, Ford  T, Gunnell D, Hemani G, Heron J, Joinson C, Moran P, Relton C, Suderman M. Pathways to self-harm: Biological mechanisms and genetic contribution. Medical Research Council/ Medical Research Foundation. October 2017 - September 2019 £223,400.


  • Epidemiology
  • Suicide and Self-harm
  • Public Health Research
  • Life-course
  • Pesticides
  • Pharmacoepidemiology
  • Mental Illness
  • Population Health


  • Suicide
  • Self-harm
  • Depression
  • Cancer Epidemiology


  • Natural Experiments
  • Case Control
  • Cross-sectional and Cohort Studies
  • Randomised Control Trials (RCTs)
  • Meta-analysis


I have a long-standing research and policy interest in the epidemiology and prevention of suicide in the UK and internationally. I am a member of the National Suicide Prevention Advisory Group (England) and acted as an advisor to WHO on the World Suicide Report (2014) and several other policies, including their strategy to prevent suicide by pesticide ingestion. I am an NIHR Senior Investigator and lead a programme of research on economic and lifecourse influences on suicide and suicidal behaviour, suicide methods and the hospital management of self-harm from a UK and global perspective.

  • suicide epidemiology
  • mental health
  • lifecourse epidemiology
  • insulin-like growth factors
  • height and health
  • schizophrenia epidemiology
  • Selected publications

    Read more >

    Recent publications

    View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

    Networks & contacts

    • NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR)
    • SACTRC - South Asian Clinical Toxicology Research Collaboration (Sri Lanka)
    • NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Prof Vatten and colleagues)
    • Karolinska Institute (Sweden) (Profs Allebeck and Rasmussen and colleagues)
    • Centre for Suicide Research - University of Oxford (Prof Hawton)
    • Centre for Suicide Prevention - University of Manchester (Prof Kapur)
    • National Yang-Ming University (Taiwan) (Dr S-S Chang and Prof Y-Y Chen)
    • University of Edinburgh (Dr Eddleston)
    • University of Copenhagen (Prof Konradsen)

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