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Faculty Detail    
Distinguished Professor of Medicine
Professor of Cell, Developmental and Integrative Biology
Director, Vascular Biology and Hypertension Program
Campus Address ZRB 1034 Zip 0007
Other websites

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

American Board of Internal Medicine   

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Primary  Medicine  Med - Cardiovascular Disease Professor
Secondary  Cell, Developmntl, & Integrative Biology  Cell, Developmntl, & Integrative Biology Professor
Center  Center for AIDS Research  Center for AIDS Research Professor
Center  Comprehensive Ctr for Healthy Aging  Comprehensive Ctr for Healthy Aging Professor
Center  Medicine  Comprehensive Diabetes Ctr (Org Ret) Professor
Center  Medicine  Ctr Cardiovasc Bio (Org Ret) 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, M.D. 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, Birmingham, Alabama, USA.

Dr. Oparil earned her medical degree at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, NY, completed her medical residency at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital and cardiology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Oparil is Past President of the American Heart Association (AHA), the American Society of Hypertension (ASH), and the American Federation for Medical Research (formerly the American Federation for Clinical Research). She is a member of numerous prestigious societies, including the Association of American Physicians and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Medicine and has held important advisory positions with the National Institutes of Health, including membership on task forces, advisory and peer review committees. She served as Co-Chair for JNC 8; the Joint National Committee charged by NHLBI with developing US guidelines for the Prevention, Detection, Evaluation and Treatment of High Blood Pressure.

Dr. Oparil has made many seminal contributions to vascular biology and hypertension research. She has served as Principal Investigator of over 30 clinical research projects and has been continuously funded by the NIH for 30 years. She serves on various editorial boards and has an extensive publication record, containing over 750 journal articles, books or book chapters on topics in clinical cardiology, atherosclerosis, heart failure, vascular biology and hypertension. Dr. Oparil has received a number of honorary memberships, lectureships, lifetime achievement awards and distinguished awards for her significant contributions to the field of hypertension research.

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
Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Cardiovascular Disease
Dr. Oparil's professional activities include fundamental and clinical research as well direct patient care. She has served as PD/PI of T32 HL007457 “Mechanisms of Hypertension and Cardiovascular Diseases” since 1985 in response to the increasing emphasis of contemporary biomedical research on cellular and molecular approaches. Dr. Oparil’s long standing research interests include: sexual dimorphism of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and more recently, an exciting new line of investigation centering around the role of protein O-GlcNAc modification as a vasoprotective and anti-inflammatory signaling mechanism in the vasculature; interest in the role of the kidney in the pathogenesis of hypertension; blood pressure (BP) variability to the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD), CVD outcomes and mortality in patients with established CKD, a high risk population for whom optimal strategies for BP management are not well defined; interest in the pathogenesis and treatment of vascular disease and consequent CVD outcomes, including heart attack and stroke. Other research areas of current interest surround topics of: nutritional factors which influence development of hypertension and atherosclerosis; vascular biology; influence of sex hormones on cardiovascular disease; women’s health; and funding of biomedical research.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
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 
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, 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 
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 
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 
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 
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, 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 
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, 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 
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 
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:    

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