School of Medicine

Dr. William Bunney receives prestigious alumni award from Penn Medicine

Dr. William Bunney, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry & Human Behavior Dr. William Bunney, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry & Human Behavior at UC Irvine School of Medicine, has received the Distinguished Graduate Award from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, from where he received his medical degree.

The award honors highly accomplished alumni for their outstanding service to society and to the profession of medicine, and for their notable accomplishments in either biomedical research, clinical practice or medical education. Dr. Bunney shares the 2016 award with Dr. Joseph Loscalzo, chair of medicine at Brigham & Women’s Hospital at the Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Bunney was recognized for his national and international award-winning research, which provided invaluable evidence regarding the causes and treatment for major psychiatric disorders, including major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. His seminal work has furthered the understanding of mood disorders, and his early research helped establish lithium’s effectiveness in treating bipolar disorder, and his efforts led to official FDA approval of the drug for the condition.

A member of the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, Dr. Bunney has been with the UC Irvine School of Medicine since 1982. He continues to be actively involved in research, and has had 17 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 downloaded papers published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

This is the sixth award Bunney has received this decade. In 2011, he was given The Rhoda and Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health from the Institute of Medicine/National Academy of Sciences. Following that, he received the Pioneer Award from the Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psychopharmacologicum at their biennial Congress in Stockholm, Sweden. In 2013, he received the Yale Psychiatry Distinguished Alumni Award from the Department of Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine. Then in 2014, he received the Paul Hoch Award from the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. And last year, he received the Payne Whitney Award for Extraordinary Public Service from the Department of Psychiatry at Weill Medical College of Cornell University.

Tom Vacish / UC Irvine Strategic Communications