About ASN

Roland C. Blantz, MD, FASN

May 11, 1940 - October 29, 2017

Roland was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, to Roland R. and Marie Eva Blantz.

He attended Johns Hopkins University, where he received his undergraduate degree and his MD degree. Afterward, he completed an Internal Medicine Residency at the University of Colorado and spent 2 years in the US Air Force as a flight surgeon. He then completed his Nephrology Fellowship at the University of Texas, Southwestern with Drs. Floyd Rector and Donald Seldin; two of his life-long mentors, who piqued his interest in research and in the pathophysiology of the kidney.

In 1972, he joined the faculty at the University of California, San Diego, and at the age of 40, he became a Full Professor at UCSD. He conducted his research at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in La Jolla where he perfected micropuncture techniques leading to great advancements in the treatments of nephrology and hypertension. He also served as Associate Editor of the American Journal of Physiology: Renal, the Journal of Clinical Investigation, and up until recently, a co-editor of Current Opinions in Nephrology-Hypertension.

Roland was an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, and the American Clinical and Climatological Association. He was a President of the American Society of Nephrology, served on the Council of American Kidney Societies, and served as Chairman of the External Advisory Committee of the NIH HEMO Trial. He was an elected Council member of the International Society of Nephrology and a member of their Publications Committee.

His contributions in the fields of Nephrology and Hypertension are known nationally and internationally. He received the Donald B. Seldin Distinguished Professor award from the NKF (2005), the William S. Middleton award for Research Excellence from the Veterans Administration (2006), and the John P. Peters award from the American Society of Nephrology (2010) which recognizes individuals who have made substantial research contributions to the discipline of nephrology and have sustained achievements in one or more domains of academic medicine including clinical care, education and leadership. This year, Roland received the Robert W. Berliner Award for Excellence in Renal Physiology.

Roland Blantz collaborated in and published 221 research articles in leading medical journals and 37 medical book chapters pertaining to kidney pathophysiology. Roland was an avid skier, a voracious reader, and loved jazz music. He sang in the La Jolla Symphony Chorus for 22 years, enjoyed entertaining and especially traveling; his most recent trip was to Ireland to discover his roots in County Cork.

Roland is survived by his loving wife Christine, three sons Adam, Eric, Jason, two stepdaughters Muriel and Sabrina, 11 grandchildren, and Daisymarie, their beloved Rhodesian Ridgeback. He cherished his cousin Patsy for all the support and care she provided to his mother in Portland, Oregon, and was extremely fortunate and thankful for the twenty years of care Alicia provided to him, Christine and the care he received from all the healthcare professionals. A special note of thanks to Father Nicholas Dempsey who administered the Sacrament of Healing many times.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be given to any of the following: The American Society of Nephrology, the National Kidney Foundation, La Jolla Symphony Chorus, the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine or the UCSD School of Medicine.

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