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Faculty Detail    
Distinguished Professor of Medicine
Professor of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology
Director, Vascular Biology and Hypertension Program
Section Chief of Vascular Biology and Hypertension
Campus Address ZRB 1034 Zip 0007
Phone  (205) 934-2580
Other websites

Undergraduate  Cornell University, Ithaca, NY    1961  A.B. Zoology 
Medical School  Columbia Univ. College of Physicians & Surgeons, NY    1965  MD Medicine 

Medical Degree (M.D.)  1965 
National Board of Medical Examiners  1966 
Alabama Medical Licensure Certification  MD.4351 

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Secondary  Cell, Developmntl, & Integrative Biology  Cell, Developmntl, & Integrative Biology Professor
Primary  Medicine  Med - Cardiovascular Disease Professor
Center  Comprehensive Cardiovascular Ctr  Comprehensive Cardiovascular Ctr Professor
Center  Comprehensive Diabetes Center  Comprehensive Diabetes Center Professor
Center  Center for AIDS Research  Center for AIDS Research Professor
Center  Integrative Center for Aging Research  Integrative Center for Aging Research Professor
Center  General Clinical Research Center  Ctr for Clinical & Translational Sci Professor
Center  General Clinical Research Center  Center for Women's Reproductive Health Professor
Center  GL Ctr for Craniofacial, Oral, & Dental Disorders  GL Ctr for Craniofacial, Oral, & Dental Disorders Professor
Center  Nutrition Sciences   Nutrition Obesity Res Ctr (NORC) Professor

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations
Cell, Molecular, & Developmental Biology 
Hughes Med-Grad Fellowship Program 
Integrative Biomedical Sciences 
Medical Scientist Training Program 
Neuroscience Graduate Program 
Pathobiology and Molecular Medicine 
Waiting to be Seated 

Biographical Sketch 
Suzanne Oparil, MD, FACC, FAHA, FASH, FAPS is Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Professor of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology, Section Chief of Vascular Biology and Hypertension 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 (UAB). Dr. Oparil graduated with an A.B. degree from Cornell University in 1961, where she was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and earned her medical degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (1965) in New York, where she was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha. She received training in internal medicine at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and then completed her medical residency and cardiology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Dr. Oparil began her career as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Chicago in 1971 and received promotion to Associate Professor in 1975. She joined the UAB faculty as an Associate Professor of Medicine in 1977, was promoted to the rank of Professor in 1981 and subsequently appointed as Director of the UAB Vascular Biology and Hypertension Program, where she has served with extraordinary distinction for over 30 years. Most recently, Dr. Oparil received special recognition for distinguished service to UAB by appointment as Distinguished Professor in the UAB Department of Medicine(2014). 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 has served on the Panel on Scientific Boundaries for Review, NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR); Special Emphasis Panel (SEP), NIH Loan Repayment Program; and the NIH Joint National Committee. She has served as expert writing member for: Kidney Disease Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) Guideline for Blood Pressure Management in Chronic Kidney Disease; various AHA guidelines and consensus documents and various national and international writing committees in hypertension research. Most recently, she served as Co-chair of the Joint National Committee charged with developing U.S. guidelines for the prevention, detection, evaluation and treatment of high blood pressure (James PA, et al. (JNC 8). JAMA 311(5):507-520, 2014). Dr. Oparil has served as President of the American Heart Association (AHA), the American Society of Hypertension (ASH), and served as 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, including the AHA Council for High Blood Pressure Irving Page-Alva Bradley Lifetime Achievement Award (2002), the Harriet Dunstan Award, sponsored by the AHA Council for High Blood Pressure Research (2008), the Virginia Franz ’22 Award for Distinguished Women in Medicine, presented by Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (2010), the Dr. John Foerster Distinguished Lecture Award for Lifetime Achievements in the Field of Cardiovascular Medicine, given by the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences (2011); the Distinguished Scientist Award (Translational Domain), presented by the American College of Cardiology (2013); and was elected as Honorary Member to the Association of University Cardiologists by the Council of the Association of University Cardiologists (2013). 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).

Society Memberships
Organization Name Position Held Org Link
American Heart Association (AHA)  Member and Fellow (FAHA)   
American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI)  Member Emeritus   
American Society of Hypertension (ASH)  Member and Fellow (FASH), Nominations, Publications, and Compliance Committees, Member   
American Society of Hypertension, Gulf-Central Chapter (ASH-GC)  Member   
Council on High Blood Pressure Research  Member 
Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences  Member 
International Academy of Cardiovascular Sciences  Member 
Southern Society for Clinical Investigation (SSCI)  Member   

Research/Clinical Interest
role of inflammation/vascular injury and repair; clinical/population-based research in special populations, translational research in resistant hypertension, role of oxidative stress/free radical injury in the pathogenesis of hypertension
Dr. Oparil is internationally recognized for her contributions to the fields of hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Throughout her career, she has focused on translating her robust findings from the basic science laboratory into the clinic and into the arena of randomized controlled clinical trials. She made many seminal contributions to vascular biology and hypertension research and has an impressive publication record of > 775 peer-reviewed articles on topics in clinical cardiology, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular pathologies related to aging, vascular biology and hypertension and population science related to cardiovascular diseases. Dr. Oparil’s general research themes are the pathogenesis of vascular disease and the pathophysiology and treatment of high blood pressure. Dr. Oparil continues to break new ground in cardiovascular and women’s health research and is dedicated to answering important public health questions by using both basic science and clinical research approaches. Dr. Oparil has made several groundbreaking fundamental discoveries which have had a high impact on clinical medicine and on the health of the nation. She has made a number of important observations concerning the role of angiotensin-converting enzyme in physiologic and pathophysiologic states. Dr. Oparil’s fundamental research interests focus on mechanisms of estrogen-mediated vasoprotection and hormonal modulation of inflammatory responses to vascular injury. She is also active in clinical investigation, particularly in the area of novel approaches to the treatment of hypertension and related target organ damage, and in the care of patients with hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Dr. Oparil also oversees a robust training program that combines basic, translational, clinical and population aspects of cardiovascular disease and hypertension research. She has served as Program Director/Principal Investigator of this longstanding NIH/NHLBI postdoctoral training program, T32 HL007457, “Mechanisms of Hypertension and Cardiovascular Diseases” since 1985 and has directly/jointly mentored over 35 graduate students, predoctoral or postdoctoral fellows and residents over the last 20+ years. Dr. Oparil has served on countless UAB student dissertation/Ph.D. defense committees and has supervised many short-term summer trainees in either her basic/translational research laboratory, or through observerships, mini-clinical rotations or hands-on bedside training.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Bowling M, Oparil S, Hage F, Hilgers R, Xing D (2011). Sex Hormones and Vascular Function, In: Sex Hormones (Dr. Raghvendra K. Dubey, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Clinic for Endocrinology, University of Zurich Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland (Ed.), InTech Open Access Publisher, Rijeka, Croatia, ISBN 978-953-307-856-4. Available from:    
Miller AP, Xing D, Feng W, Fintel M, Chen YF, Oparil S. Aged rats lose vasoprotective and anti-inflammatory actions of estrogen in injured arteries. Menopause 14:251-260, 2007.  17194962 
Xing D, Feng W, Weathington NM, Miller AP, Chen YF, Novak L, Blalock JE, Oparil S. Estrogen modulates TNFalpha-induced inflammation in rat aortic SMCs through ERbeta activation. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 292: H2607-H2612, 2007.  17237237 
Xing D, Hage FG, Chen YF, McCrory MA, Feng W, Skibinski GA, Majid-Hassan E, Oparil S, Szalai AJ. Exaggerated neointima formation in human C-reactive protein transgenic mice is IgG Fc receptor type I (FcgRI)-dependent. Am J Pathol 172:22-30, 2008.  18063701 
Xing D, Feng W, Nöt LG, Miller AP, Zhang Y, Chen YF, Majid-Hassan E, Chatham JC, Oparil S. Increased protein O-GlcNAc modification inhibits inflammatory and neointimal responses to acute endoluminal arterial injury. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol 295:H335-H342, 2008.  18469144 
Ambalavanan N, Nicola T, Hagood J, Bulger A, Serra R, Murphy-Ullrich J, Oparil S, Chen YF. Transforming growth factor–beta signaling mediates hypoxia-induced pulmonary arterial remodeling and inhibition of alveolar development in newborn mouse lung. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol 295:L86-95, 2008.  18487357 
Xing D, Nozell S, Chen Y, Hage F, Oparil S. Estrogen and mechanisms of vascular protection. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 29:289-295, 2009.  19221203 
Muntner P, Shimbo D, Tonelli M, Reynolds K, Arnett D, Oparil S. The relationship between visit-to-visit variability in systolic blood pressure and all-cause mortality in the general population: findings from NHANES III, 1988-1994. Hypertension 57:160-166, 2011.   21200000 
Aronow WS, Fleg JL, Pepine CJ, Artinian NT, Bakris G, Brown AS, Ferdinand KC, Forciea MA, Frishman WH, Jaigobin C, Kostis JB, Mancia G, Oparil S, Ortiz E, Reisin E, Rich MW, Schocken DD, Weber MA, Wesley DJ. ACCF/AHA 2011 expert consensus document on hypertension in the elderly: a report of the American College of Cardiology Foundation Task Force on Clinical Expert Consensus Documents. J Am Coll Cardiol 57:2037-114, 2011.  21524875 
Xing D, Li P, Gong K, Yang Z, Yu H, Hage F, Oparil S, Chen YF. Endothelial cells overexpressing interleukin-8 (IL8) receptors reduce inflammatory and neointimal responses to arterial injury. Circulation 125:1533-1541, 2012.  22361324 
Xing D, Gong K, Feng W, Nozell S, Chen YF, Chatham JC, Oparil S. O-GlcNAc modification of NFkB p65 inhibits TNF-alpha-induced inflammatory mediator expression in rat aortic smooth muscle cells. PLoS One 6:e24021, 2011.   3164132 
Xing D, Oparil S, Gong K, Chen YF, Feng W, Nozell S. Estrogen modulates NFkB signaling by enhancing lkBalpha levels and blocking p65 binding at the promoters of inflammatory genes through estrogen receptor-beta. PLoS One 7:e36890, 2012.  3378567 

blood pressure, cardiovascular disease prevention, hypertension, vascular biology, nutrition, nephrology, cardiovascular physiology