• 10017 Citations
  • 48 h-Index
1991 …2020
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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).  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

Doctor of Medicine, University of Aberdeen

Master of Education, University of Aberdeen

Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, University of Glasgow

External positions

National Lead Clinician for Chronic Pain, Scottish Government

1 Apr 2014 → …

Consultant in Pain Medicine, NHS Tayside

1 Apr 2013 → …


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

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2011 2020

Research Output 1991 2019

4 Citations (Scopus)

Chronic pain as a symptom or a disease: the IASP Classification of Chronic Pain for the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11)

Treede, R-D., Rief, W., Barke, A., Aziz, Q., Bennett, M. I., Benoliel, R., Cohen, M., Evers, S., Finnerup, N. B., First, M. B., Giamberardino, M. A., Kaasa, S., Korwisi, B., Kosek, E., Lavandʼhomme, P., Nicholas, M., Perrot, S., Scholz, J., Schug, S., Smith, B. H. & 3 othersSvensson, P., Vlaeyen, J. W. S. & Wang, S-J., 1 Jan 2019, In : Pain. 160, 1, p. 19-27 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

International Classification of Diseases
Chronic Pain
Visceral Pain
Musculoskeletal Pain
1 Citation (Scopus)

Genetic landscape of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease identifies heterogeneous cell-type and phenotype associations

Understanding Society Scientific Group, Sakornsakolpat, P., Prokopenko, D., Lamontagne, M., Reeve, N. F., Guyatt, A. L., Jackson, V. E., Shrine, N., Qiao, D., Bartz, T. M., Kim, D. K., Lee, M. K., Latourelle, J. C., Li, X., Morrow, J. D., Obeidat, M., Wyss, A. B., Bakke, P., Barr, R. G., Beaty, T. H. & 35 othersBelinsky, S. A., Brusselle, G. G., Crapo, J. D., de Jong, K., DeMeo, D. L., Fingerlin, T. E., Gharib, S. A., Gulsvik, A., Hall, I. P., Hokanson, J. E., Kim, W. J., Lomas, D. A., London, S. J., Meyers, D. A., O’Connor, G. T., Rennard, S. I., Schwartz, D. A., Sliwinski, P., Sparrow, D., Strachan, D. P., Tal-Singer, R., Tesfaigzi, Y., Vestbo, J., Vonk, J. M., Yim, J. J., Zhou, X., Bossé, Y., Manichaikul, A., Lahousse, L., Silverman, E. K., Boezen, H. M., Wain, L. V., Tobin, M. D., Hobbs, B. D. & Cho, M. H., 1 Mar 2019, In : Nature Genetics. 51, 3, p. 494-505 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Genetic Loci
Genetic Heterogeneity
3 Citations (Scopus)

Genome-wide association analyses of risk tolerance and risky behaviors in over 1 million individuals identify hundreds of loci and shared genetic influences

Karlsson Linnér, R., Biroli, P., Kong, E., Meddens, S. F. W., Wedow, R., Fontana, M. A., Lebreton, M., Tino, S. P., Abdellaoui, A., Hammerschlag, A. R., Nivard, M. G., Okbay, A., Rietveld, C. A., Timshel, P. N., Trzaskowski, M., Vlaming, R. D., Zünd, C. L., Bao, Y., Buzdugan, L., Caplin, A. H. & 21 othersChen, C. Y., Eibich, P., Fontanillas, P., Gonzalez, J. R., Joshi, P. K., Karhunen, V., Kleinman, A., Levin, R. Z., Lill, C. M., Meddens, G. A., Muntané, G., Sanchez-Roige, S., Rooij, F. J. V., Taskesen, E., Wu, Y., Zhang, F., Auton, A., Boardman, J. D., Clark, D. W., Conlin, A. & Beauchamp, J. P., 2019, In : Nature Genetics. 51, 2, p. 245-257 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Genetic Loci
Genome-Wide Association Study
Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
Computational Biology
Synaptic Transmission
1 Citation (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)

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 othersMors, O., Mattheisen, M., Nicodemus, K. K. & McIntosh, A. M., 31 Jan 2019, In : Pharmacogenomics Journal. 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Genome-Wide Association Study
Antidepressive Agents
Health Services

Insulin resistance: Genetic associations with depression and cognition in population based cohorts

Frangou, S., Shirali, M., Adams, M. J., Howard, D. M., Gibson, J., Hall, L. S., Smith, B. H., Padmanabhan, S., Murray, A. D., Porteous, D. J., Haley, C. S., Deary, I. J., Clarke, T-K. & McIntosh, A. M., 6 Apr 2019, In : Experimental Neurology. 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Insulin Resistance


Best Postgraduate Supervisor

Blair Smith (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

How genetics can uncover links in chronic pain and other conditions

Blair Smith


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Research


Comorbid opioid dependence and chronic pain: Clinical implications

Author: Higgins, C., 2018

Supervisor: Matthews, K. (Supervisor) & Smith, B. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

Factors associated with co-prescription of opioids and gabapentinoids

Author: Wu, S., 2017

Supervisor: Smith, B. (Supervisor), Watson, J. (Supervisor) & Meng, W. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Science


The trends and rates of gabapentin and pregabalin

Author: Zhou, Y., 2019

Supervisor: Smith, B. (Supervisor) & Watson, J. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Science


Turning data into information: The use of new technologies to improve the delivery of healthcare for people with diabetes

Author: Conway, N. T., 2017

Supervisor: Wake, D. (Supervisor) & Smith, B. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Medicine