Suzanne Oparil, M.D., professor of medicine and director of the Vascular Biology and Hypertension Program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, will be one of only three doctors from the United States to receive the Clinical Excellence Award at the National Physician of the Year Awards in New York City.
The awards are given annually by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. and recognize doctors and researchers who demonstrate excellence in clinical medical practice. Castle Connolly annually solicits special nominations from thousands of physicians across the country and the leadership of more than 1,000 hospitals.
“I am deeply honored to be receiving this award,” Oparil said. “It is a wonderful, personal accolade, but should be shared by my mentors, colleagues and trainees who have made my medical career both a pleasure and a success.”
Much of Oparil’s research focuses on diseases of the heart, and her work has contributed greatly to treating hypertension. She held a significant role in determining that angiotensin-converting enzyme, or ACE, is involved in vascular disease, leading to the development of ACE inhibitors, which are widely used to treat hypertension.
She was also part of a landmark blood pressure study, known as the SPRINT trial, that confirmed the benefits of lower blood pressure.
Oparil is the second UAB physician to receive this honor, following Michael Saag, M.D., director of the UAB Center for AIDS Research, in 2014.