Faculty Information

Nigel W. Bunnett, BSc, PhD

Professor and Chair
Department of Molecular Pathobiology
NYU College of Dentistry
433 1st Avenue, Room 724
New York, NY 10010
Phone (office): 212-998-9224 (extension 89224)
Email: nwb2@nyu.edu

Visit the Bunnett Lab website >>>



PhD, Institute of Animal Physiology (Babraham Institute), Darwin College, University of Cambridge, England, UK  1981

BSc, Animal Physiology and Nutrition (First Class Honours), University of Leeds, England, UK  1978

Honors / Credentials (selected)

  • Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology Section Research Mentor Award, American Gastroenterology Association, 2017
  • Faculty Research Award, Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University, 2015
  • Editor-in-Chief, American Journal of Physiology (Gastrointestinal and Liver), 2015 to present
  • National Health and Medical Research Council Australia Fellowship, 2010
  • Victor Mutt Award for Research in Regulatory Peptides, 2002
  • Jansen Award for Basic Research in Gastroenterology, 2001
  • R.W. Johnson Focused Giving Award, 2000
  • NIH Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award (10 grant support)
  • The Novartis Neurogastroenterology Award, 1999

Research Interests / Professional Overview

Nigel W. Bunnett is a basic scientist studying the signaling mechanisms of chronic pain. Whereas acute pain is a protective mechanism that is necessary for survival, chronic pain follows injury and disease and is a major cause of suffering. The mechanisms of chronic pain remain poorly understood. Consequently, treatments for chronic pain are ineffective in many patients or have unacceptable side-effects, illustrated by the opioid crisis. Nigel's laboratory seeks to understand why acute pain becomes chronic, and aims to develop new therapies for chronic pain without detrimental side effects of opioids. His research is relevant to pain associated with injury, inflammatory diseases and cancer.

Current Funding

  • 1R01DE029951-01: Targeting Endosomal Receptors for Treatment of Chronic Pain

National Institutes of Health

  • R01 NS1027722: Endosomal Platforms for Neuropeptide Receptor Signaling
  • R01 DE026806-01A1: Protease/PAR2/TRPV4 Axis and Oral Cancer Pain
  • R01 DK118971-01: Trafficking-Dependent Signaling of Pain by Protease-Activated Receptors

Department of Defense

  • PR17050: Receptors in Endosomes Mediate Chronic Pain Associated with Trauma and Stress: Non-Opioid Targets for Pain

Representative Publications

Complete listing available on the NYU Health Sciences Library site.

PubMed link

Google Scholar link

Citations: All 32,000
h-index: All 93

Selected publications of >350 research papers, reviews and chapters:

Pain Reviews

Murphy JE, Padilla BE, Hasdemir B, Cottrell GS, Bunnett NW. Endosomes: A legitimate platform for the signaling train. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 106, 17615-17622 (2009). PMC2764915

Steinhoff MS, von Mentzer B, Geppetti P, Pothoulakis C, Bunnett NW. Tachykinins and their receptors: Contributions to physiological control and the mechanisms of disease. Physiol Rev 94, 265-301 (2014). PMC3929113

Veldhuis NA, Poole DP, Grace M, McIntyre P, Bunnett NW. The G protein-coupled receptor-transient receptor potential channel axis: molecular insights for targeting disorders of sensation and inflammation. Pharmacol Rev 67, 36-73 (2015).

Geppetti P, Veldhuis NA, Lieu T, Bunnett NW. G Protein-coupled receptors: Dynamic machines for signaling pain and itch. Neuron 88, 635-649 (2015).

Thomsen ARB, Jensen DD, Hicks GA, Bunnett NW. Therapeutic targeting of endosomal G-protein coupled receptors. Trends Pharmacol Sci (2018). PMID 30180973

Canals M, Poole DP, Veldhuis NA, Schmidt BL, Bunnett NW. G protein-coupled receptors are dynamic regulators of digestion and targets for digestive diseases. Gastroenterology 2019 May;156(6):1600-1616. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2019.01.266. Epub 2019 Feb 13. Review. PMID: 30771352

Pain Signaling and Mechanisms

Steinhoff M, Vergnolle N, Young SH, Tognetto M, Amadesi S, Ennes HS, Trevisani M, Hollenberg MD, Wallace JL, Caughey GH, Mitchell SE, Williams LM, Geppetti P, Mayer EA, Bunnett NW. Agonists of proteinase-activated receptor 2 induce inflammation by a neurogenic mechanism. Nat Med 6, 151-158 (2000).

Alemi F, Kwon E, Poole DP, Lieu T, Lyo V, Cattaruzza F, Cevikbas F, Steinhoff M, Nassini R, Materazzi S, Guerrero-Alba R, Valdez-Morales E, Cottrell GS, Schoonjans K, Geppetti P, Vanner SJ, Bunnett NW, Corvera CU. The TGR5 receptor mediates bile acid-induced itch and analgesia. J Clin Invest 123, 1513-1530 (2013). PMC3613908

Zhao P, Lieu T, Barlow N, Metcalf M, Veldhuis NA, Jensen DD, Kocan M, Sostegni S, Haerteis S, Baraznenok V, Henderson I, Lindstrom E, Guerrero-Alba R, Valdez-Morales EE, Liedtke W, McIntyre P, Vanner SJ, Korbmacher C, Bunnett NW. Cathepsin S causes inflammatory pain via biased agonism of PAR2 and TRPV4. J Biol Chem 289, 27215-27234 (2014). PMC4175355

Jensen DD, Zhao P, Jimenez-Vargas NN, Lieu T, Gerges M, Yeatman HR, Canals M, Vanner SJ, Poole DP, Bunnett NW. Protein kinase D and Gbetagamma subunits mediate agonist-evoked translocation of protease-activated receptor-2 from the golgi apparatus to the plasma membrane. J Biol Chem 291, 11285-11299 (2016). PMC4900274

De Logu F, Nassini R, Materazzi S, Carvalho Goncalves M, Nosi D, Rossi Degl'Innocenti D, Marone IM, Ferreira J, Li Puma S, Benemei S, Trevisan G, Souza Monteiro de Araujo D, Patacchini R, Bunnett NW, Geppetti, P. Schwann cell TRPA1 mediates neuroinflammation that sustains macrophage-dependent neuropathic pain in mice. Nat Commun 8, 1887 (2017). PMC5709495

Marone IM, De Logu F, Nassini R, De Carvalho Goncalves M, Benemei S, Ferreira J, Jain P, Li Puma S, Bunnett NW, Geppetti P, Materazzi S. TRPA1/NOX in the soma of trigeminal ganglion neurons mediates migraine-related pain of glyceryl trinitrate in mice. Brain (2018). PMC6061846

Logu FD, Puma SL, Landini L, Portelli F, Innocenti A, Monteiro de Araujo DS, Janal MN, Patacchini R, Bunnett NW, Geppetti P, Nassini R. Schwann Cells and TRPA1 orchestrate ethanol-evoked neuropathic pain in mice. J Clin Invest 2019 Sep 5. pii: 128022. doi: 10.1172/JCI128022. [Epub ahead of print]

Castro J, Harrington AM, Lieu TM, Garcia-Caraballo S, Maddern J, Schober G, O’Donnell T, Grundy L, Lumsden AL, Miller P, Ghetti A, Steinhoff MS, Poole DP, Dong X, Chang L, Bunnett NW, Brierley SM. Activation of pruritogenic TGR5, MrgprA3 and MrpgrC11 on colon-innervating afferents induces visceral hypersensitivity. J Clin Invest Insight 2019 Oct 17;4(20). pii: 131712. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.131712.

Pain Treatment

Jensen DD, Lieu T, Halls ML, Veldhuis NA, Imlach WL, Mai QN, Poole DP, Quach T, Aurelio L, Conner J, Herenbrink CK, Barlow N, Simpson JS, Scanlon MJ, Graham B, McCluskey A, Robinson PJ, Escriou V, Nassini R, Materazzi S, Geppetti P, Hicks GA, Christie MJ, Porter CJH, Canals M, Bunnett NW. Neurokinin 1 receptor signaling in endosomes mediates sustained nociception and is a viable therapeutic target for prolonged pain relief. Sci Transl Med 9(2017). PMC6034632

Yarwood RE, Imlach WL, Lieu T, Veldhuis NA, Jensen DD, Klein Herenbrink C, Aurelio L, Cai Z, Christie MJ, Poole DP, Porter CJH, McLean P, Hicks GA, Geppetti P, Halls ML, Canals M, Bunnett NW. Endosomal signaling of the receptor for calcitonin gene-related peptide mediates pain transmission. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 114, 12309-12314 (2017). PMC5699040

Jimenez-Vargas NN, Pattison LA, Zhao P, Lieu T, Latorre R, Jensen DD, Castro J, Aurelio L, Le GT, Flynn B, Herenbrink CK, Yeatman HR, Edgington-Mitchell L, Porter CJH, Halls ML, Canals M, Veldhuis NA, Poole DP, McLean P, Hicks GA, Scheff N, Chen E, Bhattacharya A, Schmidt BL, Brierley SM, Vanner SJ, Bunnett NW. Protease-activated receptor-2 in endosomes signals persistent pain of irritable bowel syndrome. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 115, E7438-E7447 (2018). PMC6077730

Ramírez-García PD, Retamal JS, Shenoy P, Imlach W, Sykes M, Truong N, Constandil L, Pelissier T, Nowell CJ, Khor SY, Layani LM, Lumb C, Poole DP, Lieu T, Stewart GD, Mai QN, Jensen DD, Latorre R, Scheff NN, Schmidt BL, Quinn JF, Whittaker MR, Veldhuis NA, Davis TP, Bunnett NW. A pH-responsive nanoparticle targets the neurokinin 1 receptor in endosomes to prevent chronic pain. Nature Nanotechnology 2019 Nov 4.