• 13799 Citations
  • 55 h-Index
1991 …2020

Research output per year

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Personal profile


Holding a Chair in Population Health Science, Blair is an academic general practitioner, currently also practising clinically as a Consultant in Pain Medicine, NHS Tayside.  He is also Clinical Co-director of Tayside Clinical Trials Unit.  Graduating at the Universities of Glasgow (MBChB, 1987) and Aberdeen (MEd Distinction 1998; MD 2000), he held an NHS Primary Care Career Scientist Award (2000 to 2005) and was Professor of Primary Care Medicine at the University of Aberdeen until 2011.  

His research on chronic pain and neuropathic pain has been published widely, specifically studying its epidemiology, primary care management and self-management.  He is a Chief Investigator on Generation Scotland, a major programme for studying genetics and health, with over 30,000 volunteer participants.  He is now actively exploring the opportunities that this and other collaborations bring to researching the biological mechanisms of chronic pain, from the laboratory to the community.  He has established the Chronic Pain Research Group at the University of Dundee, based in the Division of Population Health and Genomics.

He is Past Chair of the International Association for the Study of Pain Neuropathic Pain Special Interest Group (NeuPSIG), and Co-chair of their Global Alliance of Pain Patient Advocates.  He was formerly Treasurer of the Society for Academic Primary Care, and sat on the Editorial Board of the British Journal of General Practice, both from 1997 to 2007.  He chaired the NHS Scotland / SGHD Chronic Pain Steering Group until June 2011, and established its Research Subgroup and the Scottish Pain Research Community (SPaRC).  He was appointed to his current post in August 2011.

Blair was appointed on 1 May 2014 to the post of Lead Clinician for Chronic Pain working with the Scottish Government, and is Specialty Adviser to the Chief Medical Officer.  He aims to facilitate improvement in the management of pain, in an evidence-based yet practical way.

In 2017, Blair received the award for Best Postgraduate Supervisor from the Dundee University Students' Association.  In 2018, he was awarded the British Pain Society Medal and Annual Lecture, for "outstanding contribution to the field of pain".

Education/Academic qualification

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Award Date: 1 Jun 2001

Doctor of Medicine, University of Aberdeen

Award Date: 1 Jan 2000

Master of Education, University of Aberdeen

Award Date: 1 Jan 1998

Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 1 Jan 1987

External positions

Specialty Adviser to Chief Medical Officer, Scottish Government

1 Sep 2016 → …

National Lead Clinician for Chronic Pain, Scottish Government

1 Apr 2014 → …

Consultant in Pain Medicine, NHS Tayside

1 Apr 2013 → …

Surgeon Lieutenant Commander



  • R Medicine (General)
  • Chronic pain
  • Primary Care Medicine
  • RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
  • Epidemiology
  • Genetic epidemiology

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Research Output

A genome-wide association study finds genetic variants associated with neck or shoulder pain in UK Biobank

Meng, W., Chan, B. W., Harris, C., Freidin, M. B., Hebert, H., Adams, M. J., Campbell, A., Hayward, C., Zheng, H., Zhang, X., Colvin, L., Hales, T., Palmer, C., Williams, F. M. K., McIntosh, A. M. & Smith, B. H., 15 Apr 2020, In : Human Molecular Genetics. 29, 8, p. 1396-1404 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
  • 4 Downloads (Pure)

    Author Correction: Genome-wide association study of knee pain identifies associations with GDF5 and COL27A1 in UK Biobank

    Meng, W., Adams, M. J., Palmer, C. N. A., 23andMe Research Team, Shi, J., Auton, A., Ryan, K. A., Jordan, J. M., Mitchell, B. D., Jackson, R. D., Yau, M. S., McIntosh, A. M. & Smith, B. H., 26 Mar 2020, In : Communications Biology. 3, 1, 1 p., 149.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
    15 Downloads (Pure)

    Genetic correlations between pain phenotypes and depression and neuroticism

    Meng, W., Adams, M. J., Reel, P., Rajendrakumar, A., Huang, Y., Deary, I. J., Palmer, C. N. A., McIntosh, A. M. & Smith, B. H., Mar 2020, In : European Journal of Human Genetics. 28, p. 358-366 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 2 Citations (Scopus)
    66 Downloads (Pure)

    Genome-wide association meta-analyses combining multiple risk phenotypes provide insights into the genetic architecture of cutaneous melanoma susceptibility

    GenoMEL Consortium, Q-MEGA and QTWIN Investigators, ATHENS Melanoma Study Group, 23andMe, The SDH Study Group, IBD Investigators, Essen-Heidelberg Investigators, AMFS Investigators, MelaNostrum Consortium, Landi, M. T., Bishop, D. T., MacGregor, S., Machiela, M. J., Stratigos, A. J., Ghiorzo, P., Brossard, M., Calista, D., Choi, J., Fargnoli, M. C., Zhang, T. & 45 others, Rodolfo, M., Trower, A. J., Menin, C., Martinez, J., Hadjisavvas, A., Song, L., Stefanaki, I., Scolyer, R., Yang, R., Goldstein, A. M., Potrony, M., Kypreou, K. P., Pastorino, L., Queirolo, P., Pellegrini, C., Cattaneo, L., Zawistowski, M., Gimenez-Xavier, P., Rodriguez, A., Elefanti, L., Manoukian, S., Rivoltini, L., Smith, B. H., Loizidou, M. A., Del Regno, L., Massi, D., Mandala, M., Khosrotehrani, K., Akslen, L. A., Amos, C. I., Andresen, P. A., Avril, M-F., Azizi, E., Soyer, H. P., Bataille, V., Dalmasso, B., Bowdler, L. M., Burdon, K. P., Chen, W. V., Codd, V., Craig, J. E., Harris, J., Shi, J., Iles, M. M. & Law, M. H., May 2020, In : Nature Genetics. 52, 5, p. 494-504 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)

    Genome-wide association study of antidepressant treatment resistance in a population-based cohort using health service prescription data and meta-analysis with GENDEP

    Wigmore, E. M., Hafferty, J. D., Hall, L. S., Howard, D. M., Clarke, T-K., Fabbri, C., Lewis, C. M., Uher, R., Navrady, L., Adams, M. J., Zeng, Y., Campbell, A., Gibson, J., Thomson, P. A., Hayward, C., Smith, B., Hocking, L. J., Padmanabhan, S., Deary, I. J., Porteous, D. J. & 4 others, Mors, O., Mattheisen, M., Nicodemus, K. K. & McIntosh, A. M., Apr 2020, In : Pharmacogenomics Journal. 20, p. 329-341 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 7 Citations (Scopus)
    136 Downloads (Pure)


    Best Postgraduate Supervisor

    Smith, Blair (Recipient), Jun 2017

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Press / Media

    How to work out in midlife… when everything hurts

    Blair Smith & Lesley Colvin


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Research

    Opoioid epidemic - the global spread explained

    Blair Smith


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Research

    Inspiring teacher honoured with Student-led Teaching Award

    Blair Smith


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Teaching