2023 Distinguished Scientist Carlos Ferrario

Carlos Ferrario Headshot

Carlos M. Ferrario, MD, FAHA, FAPS, FACC
Professor Emeritus, Department of Surgery, Atrium Health Baptist Hospital,
Wake Forest School of Medicine
Winston Salem, NC

Carlos M. Ferrario, MD, FAHA, FISH, FAPS, FACC, is Professor Emeritus (Surgery) and Founder of the Hypertension and Vascular Research Center, Atrium Health Wake Forest School of Medicine. Ferrario received worldwide recognition for his groundbreaking contribution to identifying angiotensin-(1-7) and the importance of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 in regulating cardiac function and blood pressure control. Ferrario and collaborators' seminal research on Ang-(1-7) included the identification of the enzymes generating Ang-(1-7) from angiotensin I and the first in-vivo identification of ACE2 as the enzyme converting Ang II into Ang-(1-7). Ferrario's contribution to Ang-(1-7) cemented the rationale for developing Ang-(1-7) as a therapeutic target based on Ferrario's original demonstration that low levels of Ang-(1-7) expression in primary hypertension were reversed by medicating patients with inhibitors of ACE. Ferrario's and colleagues research contributions have surpassed the field of cardiovascular disease as Ang-(1-7) acts as a negative inhibitor of autoimmune diseases, liver cirrhosis, type II diabetes, toxemia of pregnancy, and cancer. Multiple international awards attest to Ferrario's scientific achievements, including the 2009 Novartis Award for Hypertension Research from the AHA Council on Hypertension. Ferrario has authored or co-authored 516 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 78 chapters in books, and published five books.

Ferrario credits his love for science on his past relationship with Cleveland Clinic’s Irvine H Page, MD, who pioneered the study of hypertension, promoted the development of hypertensive drugs, and raised national awareness about hypertension and atherosclerosis. Under Page's tutelage, Ferrario established a premier program in the neurobiology of hypertension at the Cleveland Clinic, serving as Chair of the newly created Department of Brain and Vascular Research (1984-1992) and member of the Foundation's Board of Governors (1985-1990). He joined the Wake Forest School of Medicine as Chair of the Hypertension Center in 1992.