Professor David Gunnell

Photo of Professor David Gunnell

Professor David Gunnell

Room 4.04,
39 Whatley Road, Bristol
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Telephone Number (0117) 928 7253


School of Social and Community Medicine

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Research overview

Key words

Epidemiology, Suicide and Self-harm, Public Health Research, ALSPAC, life-course, pesticides, pharmacoepidemiology, mental illness, Population Health

Key findings

Gunnell D, Lewis G, Hawton K, Heron J, Macleod J, Crane C, Tilling T, Davey Smith G. Self-harm with and without suicidal intent in adolescence: causes and consequences - the ALSPAC cohort MRC Sept 2012-March 2014. £211,248

Gunnell D Kidger J, Campbell R, Donovan J, Tilling K,  Hollingworth W, Araya R, Ford T,  King M Development of an Intervention to Improve Mental Health Support and Training for Secondary School Staff – A Feasibility Study and Pilot Cluster RCT . NIHR School for Public Health £443,000

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. £1,765,660 (ref No. PGfAR RP-PG-0610-10026) 1 April 2012-31 March 2017

Gunnell D, Martin R, Windmeijer F and Metcalfe C. Medicines that may promote suicide: a pharmaco-epidemiological analysis of risk and risk assessment funded by  MHRA Research Programme. £99,552 over two years 2010-2012

Eddleston M, Gunnell D, Metcalfe C, Hawton K, Konradsen F, Dawson A, Jayamanne S Wickremasinghe A. A community trial to determine whether 'Safe Storage' reduces pesticide self-poisoning in rural Asia. Wellcome 2010 2010-2014. £783,000 (Bristol £25,000)  090958

Martin R (PI) Donovan J, Davey Smith G, Palmer T, Lewis S, Holly J, Gunnell D. The causal role of the nutritionally regulated insulin-like growth factor system in prostate cancer: Mendelian randomization study. £224,387 2012-2014

Dennis M, Lloyd K, Gunnell D, Platt S, Scourfield J, Huxley P, Jones P. 2010-2011 An investigation of  the Bridgend Suicide Cluster Welsh Office R&D: £137,643

Lewis, G, Zammit, S, Cannon, M, David, AS, Davey-Smith, G, Lewis, S, Wolke, D, Harrison, G, Gunnell, D, Heron, J, Jones, P, Peters, T (2009-13) The aetiology of psychosis high risk states during adolescence in the ALSPAC cohort Wellcome £895,960   Start 1/6/08 for 42 months. G0701503

Martin R, Donovan J, Davey Smith G, Palmer T, Lewis S, Holly J, Gunnell D. The causal role of the nutritionally regulated insulin-like growth factor system in prostate cancer: Mendelian randomization study. £224,387 2012-2014

Gunnell D, Hawton K, Kapur N, Evans J, Donovan J, Margison F, O’Connor S, D Longson, Verne J, Bradley D. A multi-centre programme of clinical and public health research in support of the National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England. Dept of Health 2007. £1,012,247  (ref No. RP-PG-0606-1247) 1 August 2007-31 December 2011


Diseases related to this field of research

Suicide, Self-harm, Depression, Cancer

Techniques in routine use

Case control, cross-sectional and cohort studies, randomised control trials (RCTs), meta-analysis


NIHR School for Public Health Research (SPHR) SACTRC -South Asian Clinical Toxicology Research Collaboration (Sri Lanka) Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) (Prof Vatten and colleagues) Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, 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, Taipei, Taiwan (Drs S-S Chang and Y-Y Chen) University of Edinburgh (Dr Eddleston) University of Copenhagen (Prof Konradsen)

Public engagement

The epidemiology and prevention of suicide and suicidal behaviour

Key publications

  1. Chang, S-S, Sterne, JAC, Wheeler, BW, Lu, T-H, Lin, J-J & Gunnell, D 2011, ‘Geography of suicide in Taiwan: Spatial patterning and socioeconomic correlates’. Health and Place, vol 17., pp. 641 - 650
  2. Thomas, K, Chang, S-S & Gunnell, D 2011, ‘Suicide epidemics: the impact of newly emerging methods on overall suicide rates- a time trends study’. BMC Public Health, vol 11., pp. 314
  3. Gunnell, D, Wheeler, B, Chang, S-S, Thomas, B, Sterne, JAC & Dorling, D 2011, ‘Changes in the geography of suicide in young men: England and Wales 1981-2005’. J Epidemiol Community Health, vol 66., pp. 536-43
  4. Biddle, L, Donovan, J, Owen-Smith, A, Potokar, J, Longson, D, Hawton, K, Kapur, N & Gunnell, D 2010, ‘Factors influencing the decision to use hanging as a method of suicide: qualitative study: qualitative study’. The British Journal of Psychiatry, vol 197., pp. 320 - 325
  5. Chang, S, Gunnell, D, Wheeler, B, Yip, P & Sterne, J 2010, ‘The Evolution of the Epidemic of Charcoal-Burning Suicide in Taiwan: A Spatial and Temporal Analysis’. PLoS Med, vol 7 (1).
  6. Gunnell, D, Irvine, D, Wise, L, Davies, C & Martin, R 2009, ‘Varenicline and suicidal behaviour: a cohort study based on data from the General Practice Research Database’. British Medical Journal, vol 339.
  7. Biddle, L, Donovan, J, Hawton, K, Kapur, N & Gunnell, D 2008, ‘Suicide and the internet’. British Medical Journal, vol 336., pp. 800 - 802
  8. Gunnell, D, Saperia, J & Ashby, D 2005, ‘Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and suicide in adults: a meta-analysis of drug company data from placebo-controlled randomised controlled trials submitted to the MHRA's safety review’. British Medical Journal, vol 330., pp. 385 - 388
  9. Chang, S, Gunnell, D, Sterne, J, Lu, T & Cheng, A 2009, ‘Was the economic crisis 1997-1998 responsible for rising suicide rates in East/Southeast Asia? A time-trend analysis for Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Thailand’. Social Science & Medicine, vol 68., pp. 1322 - 1331
  10. Odd, D, Lewis, G, Whitelaw, A & Gunnell, D 2009, ‘Resuscitation at Birth and Cognition at 8 Years of Age: A Cohort Study’. The Lancet, vol 373., pp. 1615 - 1622

Full publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

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