Remembering Dr. Mary Bartlett Bunge

March 4, 2024

Mary Bartlett Bunge, the esteemed neuroscientist, whose groundbreaking research with her husband, Richard, led to significant advancements in spinal cord injury treatment, passed away on February 17, 2023, in Coral Gables, Florida. She was 92. Dr. Bunge was professor emeritus at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and worked with the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. 

Throughout her career, Dr. Bunge focused on myelin, a crucial component of nerve fibers that protects and modulates the transmission of cell signals.

Collaborating closely with her husband, who she met as a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Bunge conducted research that revealed how demyelination, resulting from spinal cord injury, impeded the body’s natural repair mechanisms, marking a pivotal advancement in spinal cord injury treatment.

Born Mary Elizabeth Bartlett on April 3, 1931, in New Haven, Connecticut, she demonstrated a passion for science from an early age. Despite initially aspiring to be an artist, her love for scientific exploration led her to pursue a degree in biology from Simmons College in Boston. She later earned her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin’s medical school.

She and her husband went on to complete postdoctoral work at Columbia University and hold professorships at Washington University in St. Louis before joining the Miami Project.

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