Gabriel Nunez earned his M.D. degree from the University of Seville, Spain, in 1977. He received postdoctoral training in Immunology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas (1979–1984) and residency training in Anatomical Pathology at Washington University in St Louis (1985–1990). In 1987, he joined the laboratory of Stanley Korsmeyer at Washington University, where he studied the function of the anti-apoptotic protein BCL-2. In 1991, he joined the Department of Pathology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to full Professor in 2001.
He holds the Paul de Kruif Endowed Professorship in Academic Pathology. His laboratory identified NOD1 and NOD2, the first members of the Nod-like receptor (NLR) family, a class of pattern-recognition receptors that mediate cytosolic sensing of microbial organisms. Nuñez and colleagues showed that genetic variation in an NLR family member, NOD2, is strongly associated with susceptibility to Crohn's disease. Dr. Nuñez is the author of more than 387 scientific publications that have resulted in more than 104,700 citations (h-index 151, Google Scholar). His research program is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health.