Dr. Suzanne Oparil is professor of medicine and director of the vascular biology and hypertension program in the cardiovascular disease division at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is an active investigator in the laboratory as well as in the clinical setting, and directs a large basic and clinical research group in vascular biology and hypertension.
She has an extensive bibliography in clinical cardiology and hypertension, including over 350 journal articles, books and chapters. She has made many seminal contributions to hypertension research, including the first description of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) activity in lung, definition of the role of the central nervous system in salt sensitivity of blood pressure, and assessment of the contribution of the intracardiac renin-angiotensin system in the pathogenesis of cardiac hypertrophy. Dr. Oparil has been active nationally in a number of major organizations. She has served as president of the American Federation of Clinical Research, the largest (13,000 members) clinical research organization in the world. She also has served as chairman of the Public Policy Committee of that organization and helped formulate science policy positions that affect biomedical research at the national level. Her other professional memberships include the American Society of Clinical Investigation, for which she's served as secretary-treasurer; the Association of American Physicians; and the prestigious Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Oparil is an active volunteer in the American Heart Association at both the national and district levels. She is a past president of that organization. She also has held important advisory positions with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including membership on a number of task forces, advisory committees and peer review committees.
Her numerous honors include the Young Investigator Award of the International Society of Hypertension, the Annual Award of the National Board of the Medical College of Pennsylvania, the Lewis K. Dahl Memorial Lecture of the American Heart Association, the Founder's Award of the Southern Society for Clinical Investigation, and the UAB President's Achievement Award. She is listed in Who's Who in America and was recognized by The Medical Herald as one of the Nation's Top 20 Women in Health Leaders. She won the 1997 Distinguished Faculty Lecturer award which is UAB Health System's highest honor. Dr. Oparil's clinical expertise in hypertension and her outstanding basic research accomplishments have made her one of the leading investigators in cardiovascular medicine today.