Mary Bartlett Bunge grew up in Connecticut and went to Simmons College where she received a BS in Biology in 1953. She went on to receive her MS in Medical Physiology (1955) and PhD in Zoology-Cytology (1960) from the University of Wisconsin. Her late husband, Richard Bunge, introduced her to neuroscience.
Dr. Bunge is the Christine E. Lynn Distinguished Professor of Neuroscience, Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Neurological Surgery and Neurology and has been awarded an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Science, honoris causa from Simmons College. She works in the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
Dr. Bunge was a pioneer in elucidating the structure and function of cells that form myelin. Her laboratory currently conducts preclinical studies aimed at developing neuroprotective or neuroregenerative therapies for spinal cord injury. Her research is directed towards developing novel combination strategies to improve repair after spinal cord injury.
She has won a number of awards, including the Wakeman Award for her seminal contributions to the field of spinal cord injury repair, the Christopher Reeve Research Medal for Spinal Cord Repair, and the Lois Pope LIFE International Research Award and is a Florida Woman of Achievement. In 1996-1997 she served as Interim Scientific Director of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, was a member of the International Research Consortium of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation (1995-2009) and is currently a member of the Dana Alliance for Brian Initiatives. She is a member of the Iron Arrow Honor Society, the highest honor at the University of Miami.