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Suzanne Oparil, MD

Suzanne Oparil, MD

University of Alabama at Birmingham
UAB Vascular Biology & Hypertension Program

Division of Cardiovascular Disease
1720 2nd Avenue South, ZRB 542
Birmingham, AL 35294-0007

Assistant: Faith F. Lang
Phone: (205) 934-2580

Member Since: 1974

Member Status: Emeritus Fellow





Clinical Interest(s)

Member, numerous NIH task forces, expert panels, peer-review and guidelines committees; co-chair of NHLBI Joint National Committees; expert member, NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR) and Special Emphasis Panels (SEP)

Research Interest(s)

  • Blood Pressure
  • Cardiovascular Disease Prevention
  • Hypertension
  • Vascular Biology
  • Guideline Development

Current / Former SSCI Roles

Founders Award of the Southern Society for Clinical Investigation


About Suzanne Oparil, MD

Suzanne Oparil, MD, FACC, FAHA, FASH, FAPS is Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Professor of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology, and Director of the Vascular Biology and Hypertension Program of the Division of Cardiovascular Disease in the Department of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Oparil is a cardiologist with a special interest in the fundamental mechanisms of cardiovascular disease and in applying this information to the development of novel treatments. Her research ranges from molecular and cellular studies to whole animal studies to clinical trials. She has made a number of innovative discoveries with major clinical impact and was involved in early research of the fundamental mechanisms of vascular disease. She has made many groundbreaking observations that have greatly impacted clinical medicine and continue to influence novel treatments for hypertension. Early in her career, she observed that angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) was capable of generating a vasoconstrictor hormone, angiotensin II. The work of Oparil and colleagues led to the development of ACE inhibitors. She identified endothelin as a major mediator of hypoxic-mediated pulmonary hypertension in animal models, a discovery that led to the development of endothelin receptor antagonists for the treatment of patients with pulmonary hypertension. Her recent research investigated novel pathways by which estrogens protect against vascular injury; which has led to important clues about how female sex hormones protect blood vessels. Dr. Oparil served as president of the American Heart Association (AHA), the American Society of Hypertension (ASH), and was the first female president of the American Federation for Clinical Research (AFCR) (later renamed American Federation for Medical Research; AFMR). She has received numerous honorary memberships, lectureships and distinguished awards for her contributions to academic medicine, particularly the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. Dr. Oparil was selected as a distinctive member of the Alabama Healthcare Hall of Fame, Class of 2016 for her exemplary service to healthcare throughout the State of Alabama. She is member of a number of prestigious societies, including the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), the Association of American Physicians (AAP), the National Academy of Medicine (NAM; formerly IOM), and the Association of University Cardiologists (AUC). Dr. Oparil has held important advisory positions with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including membership on task forces, expert panels and peer-review and guidelines committees. She is a remarkable leader in hypertension research and continues to break new ground in cardiovascular research.


The SSCI Thanks Its Sponsors

  • Elsevier sponsors The Southern Society for Clinical Investigation