2022 Distinguished Scientist Lecturer – Suzanne Oparil, MD, FAHA


Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Professor of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology
United Therapeutics Endowed Professorship in Pulmonary Vascular Disease
Director, Vascular Biology and Hypertension Program, Division of Cardiovascular Disease
Department of Medicine, Heersink School of Medicine
Past President, American Heart Association
Past President, American Society of Hypertension
The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA


Abstract: “Hypertension Treatment as Cardiovascular Disease Prevention: A Glimpse into the Future” (PDF)


Suzanne Oparil, MD, FAHA is Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Professor of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology, Director of the Vascular Biology and Hypertension Program of the Division of Cardiovascular Disease in the Department of Medicine and the inaugural holder of the United Therapeutics Endowed Professorship in Pulmonary Vascular Disease at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Oparil received her medical degree at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York in 1965, then completed her medical residency at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and her cardiology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Oparil is a cardiologist with special interest in fundamental mechanisms of cardiovascular disease and the development of novel therapies for systemic and pulmonary hypertension and heart failure. Her research ranges from molecular and cellular studies to whole animal studies to clinical trials. She has made many groundbreaking observations that have greatly impacted clinical medicine and helped define the role of renin-angiotensin system in vascular disease and the protective effects of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition. Dr. Oparil is an international leader and visionary in the fields of hypertension and cardiovascular disease and has over 35 years of leadership experience. She has received numerous honorary memberships, lectureships and distinguished awards for her contributions to academic medicine, particularly in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. She has served as President of the American Heart Association (AHA), the American Society of Hypertension (ASH), was the first female president of the American Federation for Clinical Research (AFCR) and is President-elect for the Metro Birmingham AHA. She is member of numerous prestigious societies, including the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI), the Association of American Physicians (AAP), the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), and the Association of University Cardiologists (AUC) and has held numerous important advisory positions with the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Oparil has made many seminal contributions to cardiovascular research and has an impressive publication record of > 975 peer-reviewed articles. Her accomplishments with respect to lifetime scientific contributions, leadership/mentorship, national and international recognition are outstanding, and she continues to break new ground in cardiovascular health research.