Dr. Gabriel Nunez, MD elected to National Academy of Medicine
Dr. Gabriel Nunez, MD was elected to the National Academy of Medicine, one of the nation’s highest honors for health researchers.
Nuñez is the Paul de Kruif Endowed Professor in Academic Pathology in the Medical School’s Department of Pathology. He joined the U-M faculty in 1991 and was promoted to full professor in 2001, and is a member of the Rogel Cancer Center. He is recognized worldwide as one of the foremost experts in gastrointestinal and systemic inflammation, host-microbial interactions, and mucosal immunology.
In early work, his laboratory made seminal contributions to the field of apoptosis including the identification of multiple components of the cell death machinery and key regulatory steps in the apoptotic pathway. In the late 1990s, his laboratory identified NOD1 and NOD2, the founding members of the intracellular Nod-like receptor family.
The Nuñez laboratory showed that genetic variation in NOD2 is associated with the development of Crohn’s disease — a groundbreaking discovery in the fields of complex genetic diseases and inflammatory disease. More recently, his laboratory has focused on mechanisms by which the intestinal microbiome regulates pathogen colonization and the activation of immune responses.
Collectively, these discoveries have provided critical insight into the mechanisms by which the immune system recognizes microbes and launches immune responses, which have profoundly impacted the understanding of host defense and the development of inflammatory diseases. In 2018, he was recognized for this body of work by the American Society of Investigative Pathology with its Rous-Whipple Award.
Nuñez has published more than 350 articles in peer-reviewed journals — many in top-tier publications like Nature, Science and Cell. His research has been cited more than 100,000 times. Nuñez has also mentored more than 100 young scientists, including over 60 postdoctoral fellows, many through the U-M Graduate Program in Immunology.
He earned his medical degree from the University of Seville, Spain, in 1977 and received postdoctoral training in immunology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas. He completed his residency training in anatomical pathology at Washington University in St. Louis before joining the laboratory of oncologist Stanley Korsmeyer, M.D for further postdoctoral training.