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A photograph of a camera pointed at a mouse. Optical equipment and biomedical supplies needed for image-guided surgeries can be seen in the background.

About The Blair Lab


At the direction of Dr. Steven Michael Blair, The Blair Lab seeks to prolong the survival and improve the quality-of-life of cancer patients undergoing surgery through the development of imaging systems and image processing routines that can readily detect cancerous tissue during the surgical process.

Complementing the work of the other labs found in the School of Electrical, Computer, and Biomedical Engineering at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, the research conducted by The Blair Lab integrates findings from across the fields of optics, circuits, signal processing, machine learning, and computer vision.


The Blair Lab is primarily interested in the design, implementation, and clinical translation of optical image-guided surgery systems that utilize photographs captured of the surgical site, along with optional contrast agents delivered to the involved tissues, in order to identify any tumors that should be removed by the surgeon. But, since it will only be successful in this effort if it fully understands the context of the operating room and the constraints on the operation, The Blair Lab is also interested in exploring the following concepts and questions:

Biophotonics & The Patient's Physiology

How does light interact with tissues? How does light propagate through tissues? How can the optical properties of the tissue and the optical models for tissues better inform the design of imaging systems and the implementation of image processing routines?

Cancer Diagnostics & The Surgeon's Perception

What cancer biomarkers are most informative to the surgeon? What cancer biomarkers are most evident to the surgeon? How can we develop imaging systems that make the most informative biomarkers the most evident biomarkers?

Cancer Therapeutics & The Surgeon's Decisions

How should the prognostic benefits of a surgical decision be evaluated? How should the prognostic consequences of a surgical decision be judged? How can we develop imaging systems that maximize the benefits and minimize the consequences?

Join Us

The Blair Lab is currently seeking out students who want to join in its mission and share in its interests. Fully-funded assistantships at Southern Illinois University Carbondale are available for graduate students who have a bachelor's degree or a master's degree in an area of study related to electrical engineering, computer engineering, or biomedical engineering. Research opportunities are also available for undergraduate students looking to expand their horizons while still making a difference.

If interested, please contact Dr. Steven Blair at with a copy of your curriculum vitae and a brief description of your interests.

About the Principle Investigator

A headshot of Dr. Steven Michael Blair.
Dr. Steven Michael Blair

Dr. Steven Michael Blair is an assistant professor in the School of Electrical, Computer, and Biomedical Engineering at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He previously served as a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and received a Doctor of Philosophy in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Illinois in 2022, a Master of Science in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Illinois in 2018, and Bachelor of Science degrees in electrical engineering and computer engineering from Southern Illinois University in 2016. His work has focused on the development of bioinspired imaging systems for image-guided surgery, with an emphasis on spectral imaging systems that offer low noise and high dynamic range, as well as the deposition and characterization of nanoparticle coatings on optical components with an eye towards applications in imaging and spectroscopy.


Journal Publications

Conference Publications

Dissertation and Thesis

A photograph of an image sensor inside of a camera. A lens that might be placed in front of the image sensor can be seen in the background.


Engineering Building

1230 Lincoln Drive

Carbondale, IL 62901

(Google Maps)

Engineering Building_edited.jpg



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