William J. Brunken, PhD
Professor of Cell Biology and Ophthalmology • Director of Ophthalmic Research
Tel: (718) 221-5328 • Fax: (718) 270-3732
Background and Expertise
William J. Brunken, BS, PhD, is an NEI and NSF-funded Investigator who holds appointments in the Departments of Anatomy and Cell Biology; Ophthalmology; and Neurology. Dr. Brunken received his B.S. (magna cum laude) from Long Island University, Brooklyn Center and his Ph.D. in Anatomical Sciences (Neuroscience) from the State University of New York in Stony Brook. His post-graduate training was at Washington University in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. Dr. Brunken began his independent career (as an Assistant Professor) at Boston College in 1988 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 1992. Dr Brunken took a three-year sabbatical to join the research staff of the Cutaneous Biology Research Center of Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School from 1998 to 2001. At the conclusion of his leave, rather than return to Boston College, Dr. Brunken moved to Tufts University in February 2001. In December 2006, Dr Brunken joined the faculty at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. He was appointed the Director of Ophthalmic Research in Feb 2007. He enjoys an international reputation having lectured extensively nationally and in Europe on the work of his laboratory. Dr Brunken has authored over 40 articles, chapters and reviews. His early work focused on the neuroschemistry of retinal processing and serotonin transport mechanisms. The current focus of the laboratory is on photoreceptor synaptic development and the role of the extracellular proteins, laminins and netrins, in synapse formation. Other projects include the ECM regulation of neurogenesis and neovascularization.