Browse/search for people

Professor David Gunnell

Professor David Gunnell

Professor David Gunnell
MB,ChB, PhD(Bristol), FFPH, MRCGP, MFPHM, 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

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

Biddle L, Gunnell D. Creating an Internet Safer for Individuals feeling Suicidal: The CRISIS Programme.  ESRC Impact Acceleration Accounts £13,101 1 April 2017-31 March 2018 

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)

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). 

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

Gunnell D, Mars B. Suicide Amongst Paramedics. The Association of Ambulance Chief Executives. £9667 July 2016-Dec 2017

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)

Boyd A, Goldstein H, Davies A, Cornish R, Northstone K, Mars R, Molloy L, Gunnell D,  Burton P, Macleod J. CLOSER (MRC/ESRC) Assessing the extent to which disclosure control techniques impact on data utility: an exemplar research project using Self-Harm data from the Hospital Episode Statistics Database and, separately, breast feeding and attainment data collected directly from study participants and the National Pupil Database. £45,000 2015-16 (Ref: ES/K000357/1)

Donovan J, Sterne J,  Hollingworth W, Lawlor D, Peters T, Ben-Shlomo Y, Salisbury C, Hickman M, Gray S, Gunnell D. NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care West £8,970,965 Jan 2014-Dec 2018 (Ref: IS-CLA-0113-10046)

John A, Scourfield JA, Dennis M, Lloyd K, Gunnell D. Understanding Suicide Clusters tHrough ExploRIng Self Harm behaviours (CHERISH). Welsh National Institute for Social Care and Health Research. £202,420 Oct 2013-Jan 2016 (Ref: SC-12-14)

Campbell R, Hickman M, Gunnell D, Macleod J, Ben Shlomo Y, Cooper A, Tilling K, Jago R, Lawlor D, Donovan J. Ades A, Lewis G. NIHR School for Public Health Research (Bristol). £2,000,000 2012-2016 (Ref: IS-SPH-0211-10031)

Chang S-S, Yip P, Gunnell D, Wu X. The impact of the 2008 global economic crisis on suicide in Hong Kong. University Grant Committee, Hong Kong £33,427 (incl £2500 for DG visit to HK)

McManus S, Nicholls C, Weich S, Gill V, Hall J, Gunnell D. Risk and resilience: Self-harm and suicide ideation, attempts and completion among high risk groups and the population as a whole. £155,829 Sept 2013-Apr 2015 (Ref: PR-R5-0912-11032)

Biddle L, Gunnell D, Donovan J, Wyllie C, Potokar J. Exploring the use of the Internet in relation to suicidal behaviour: identifying priorities for prevention Department of Health Policy Research Programme. £234,496 Jul 2013-Nov 2015

Redaniel T, Gunnell D, Tallo V, Lebanan M. The use of capture-recapture methods and verbal autopsy in identifying the true incidence of suicide and features of suicide deaths in the Philippines. AFSP $30,000 1/10/13 – 30/09/15 (Ref: PRG-0-013-12)

Eddleston M, Agampodi S,  Jayamanne S,  Konradsen F,  Gunnell D, Hawton K, Weerasinghe M, Pearson M. Preventing pesticide suicides by restricting access through vendors. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention US$ 99,905 Mar 2014-Feb 2016

Lyons RA,Ford DV, Macleod J, Butler C, Palmer S, Brophy S, Burton P, Carroll J, Cassell J, Dennis M, El Emam K, Fielder H, Fone D, Gallacher J, Gravenor M, Gunnell D, Hickman M, Holman D, Jones K, Lloyd K, Lowe S, Martin R, Moore L, Paranjothy S, Preen D, Rodgers S, Russell I, Siebert S, Snooks H, Williams J, Conley E, John G, Roberts S, Gabbe B, Gissler M, John A.Centre for the Improvement of Population Health through E-health Research (CIPHER). Medical Research Council. £4,373,292 1/10/12 - 30/09/17 (Ref: MR/K006525/1)

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 April 2012-March 2015. £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. April 2012-March 2017. £1,765,660

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. 2010-2012. £99,552

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) 

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

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

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. The aetiology of psychosis high risk states during adolescence in the ALSPAC cohort. Wellcome £895,960. June 2008 for 42 months.

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. August 2007-December 2011 


  • 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 >

    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)

    Edit this profile If you are Professor David Gunnell, you can edit this page. Login required.

    PDF versionDownload PDF