“Congratulations to Norm Blair, MD, for his dedicated leadership of the Retina Service at UIC over a 25-year time span. His contributions to research, clinical care and teaching have been vast and far reaching. While Norm has opted to stop seeing patients, I anticipate continued significant contributions in research and teaching for many years to come,“ stated William F. Mieler, MD, Professor and Vice-Chairman, Director of the Residency and Vitreoretinal Fellowship Training Programs.
As a fellowship trained retina specialist Dr. Blair came to the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary at UIC in 1980 to take on an additional fellowship in ophthalmic pathology. He was then recruited to the faculty and served as Director of the Retina Service continuously from 1982 to 2006. He is a highly respected clinician, surgeon and investigator who has received more than 20 years of support from the National Eye Institute as a principal investigator for multiple basic science and clinical studies. Throughout his career, Dr. Blair has dedicated himself to research aimed at improving the clinical options for patients whose lives have been devastated by retinal diseases, especially diabetic retinopathy and other retinal vascular diseases. He is author or coauthor of over 175 original research articles. Among his more important contributions was the clarification of the way substances pass between the bloodstream and the retinal tissue, especially in diabetes. He has also investigated retinal oxygen delivery and consumption and ocular glucose consumption. Additionally, he has authored or coauthored multiple papers on retinal imaging. Much of his work has been in collaboration with Mahnaz Shahidi, PhD, with whom he continues to collaborate.
Upon retirement from clinical care, Dr Blair stated, “I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be a member of the faculty here at UIC. It has been a great privilege to care for many patients with sight threatening conditions. I also did not realize at first how rewarding it would be to teach our residents and fellows. They are such high quality people.”
Jennifer I. Lim, MD, Professor of Ophthalmology, Marion H. Schenk Esq. Chair in Ophthalmology and Director of the Retina Service commented, “The contributions of Dr. Blair to patient care, teaching and research at UIC are legion. He was a valued member of the faculty when I was a resident. I am indebted to him for his guidance during my residency years and more recently, for his collegiality and wisdom as a member of the retina faculty. He is a true academician and clinician-scientist role model.”
“Congratulations once again to Norm Blair on a highly successful (and ongoing) career,” concluded Dr. Mieler.