Carlos M. Ferrario, MD

Carlos M. Ferrario, MD, is a cardiologist whose research has advanced understanding and treatment of high blood pressure and vascular disease. A graduate of the University of Buenos Aires Medical School in 1963, Dr. Ferrario pursued postgraduate training in cardiology at the University of Goteborg and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden between 1964 and 1966 and then joined Dr. Irvine H. Page, a pioneer in hypertension research, at The Cleveland Clinic Foundation in 1966. Dr. Ferrario developed a premier program on the neural and endocrine causes of hypertension chairing the Department of Brain and Vascular Research of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation from 1984 to 1992. He founded the Hypertension and Vascular Research Center at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in 1992, serving as its Director until 2009.

Dr. Ferrario’s research identified the mechanisms of action of angiotensin in the brain through his discovery of the area postrema as a site for the action of the hormone, the role of the heart in the development of arterial hypertension, and discovered new endocrine pathways leading to the formation and action of angiotensin peptides. Pioneering research in the renin-angiotensin system includes the discovery of the antihypertensive function of angiotensin, the role of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 as a component of the opposing arm of the renin angiotensin system, and the furthering of understanding as to how inhibitors of angiotensin converting enzyme and angiotensin receptor antagonists act on the body’s nervous and endocrine mechanisms to regulate blood pressure. His studies on the role of angiotensin II in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis lead to increased recognition on the interaction between lipids and endocrine hormones in the evolution of atherosclerosis. The newer studies identifying the function of angiotensin as a novel tissue substrate forming angiotensin II directly by chymase rather than angiotensin converting enzyme are underscoring the important of species differences in characterizing the mechanisms accounting for the pathogenesis of heart and vascular disease.

Dr. Ferrario has published over 500 papers, 74 book chapters, and 5 books. He has mentored over 61 physicians, many of which have become major medical leaders in the USA, Japan, and Latin America. He is a former Established Investigator and the recipient of the Harry Goldblatt Award from the American Heart Association. In 1998, he was presented with the Ignacio Chaves Centennial Gold Medal of Honor by the National University of Mexico, an internationally recognized veneration of excellence in Cardiology and research. The European Society of Hypertension awarded Dr. Ferrario the 1999 Hypertension Angiotensin II Investigator of the Year. He was recognized and selected as the 1999 recipient of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine Established Investigator in Clinical Science award. In addition, he was awarded the Robert Tigersted award from the American Society of Hypertension and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Inter-American Society of Hypertension for his contributions to the field of hypertension research in 2001. Additional awards include the Corcoran Award from the AHA in 2007, and the R Tigersted and J Wright awards from the Finnish (2008) and Australian (2008) Societies of Hypertension, respectively. In 2009, he received the Novartis Award for Hypertension Research from the Council of High Blood Pressure Research, American Heart Association, the highest recognition of achievements awarded by any organization in the world.

Dr. Ferrario is a member and officer of numerous medical organizations including membership in the American Physiological Society since 1967, Immediate Past-President of the Inter- American Society of Hypertension, Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, the Council for High Blood Pressure Research, the American Society of Hypertension, and the Southern Society for Clinical Investigation. Honorary memberships include Societies of Cardiology in Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, Spain, and Mexico. Currently, he is the Founder and Immediate Past-Editor-in-Chief of Therapeutic Advances in Cardiovascular Disease and a Member of the Editorial Board of several journals.

Dr. Ferrario is the Founder of the Consortium for Southeastern Hypertension Control (COSEHC™), an organization which has pioneered medical and educational efforts directed to reduce cardiovascular deaths in the South, serving as its President and Chief Executive Officer until 2008.


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