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Sam Light

TitleAssistant Professor
InstitutionUniversity of Chicago
AddressChicago IL 60637
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    Collapse Overview 
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    Microbes exhibit variable forms of cellular metabolism, the distinctive properties of which reflect critical features of relevant microbial ecosystems. In the context of the gut microbiota, these metabolic processes generate numerous small molecules that influence host biology in a myriad of ways. Our research seeks to develop a fundamental understanding of the relationship between microbial metabolism and healthy/diseased states of the gut microbiota and, eventually, to exploit these insights in the development of targeted therapies.
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    Collapse Biography 
    Collapse education and training
    University of California, BerkeleyPostdoctoral Fellow2019
    Northwestern UniversityPostdoctoral Associate2016
    Northwestern UniversityPhD2013
    Bard CollegeBA2008

    Collapse Bibliographic 
    Collapse selected publications
    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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    PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
    1. Huang S, Méheust R, Barquera B, Light SH. Versatile roles of protein flavinylation in bacterial extracyotosolic electron transfer. bioRxiv. 2024 Mar 14. PMID: 38559090; PMCID: PMC10979944.
    2. Little AS, Younker IT, Schechter MS, Bernardino PN, Méheust R, Stemczynski J, Scorza K, Mullowney MW, Sharan D, Waligurski E, Smith R, Ramanswamy R, Leiter W, Moran D, McMillin M, Odenwald MA, Iavarone AT, Sidebottom AM, Sundararajan A, Pamer EG, Eren AM, Light SH. Dietary- and host-derived metabolites are used by diverse gut bacteria for anaerobic respiration. Nat Microbiol. 2024 Jan; 9(1):55-69. PMID: 38177297.
      Citations:    Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    3. Odenwald MA, Lin H, Lehmann C, Dylla NP, Cole CG, Mostad JD, Pappas TE, Ramaswamy R, Moran A, Hutchison AL, Stutz MR, Dela Cruz M, Adler E, Boissiere J, Khalid M, Cantoral J, Haro F, Oliveira RA, Waligurski E, Cotter TG, Light SH, Beavis KG, Sundararajan A, Sidebottom AM, Reddy KG, Paul S, Pillai A, Te HS, Rinella ME, Charlton MR, Pamer EG, Aronsohn AI. Bifidobacteria metabolize lactulose to optimize gut metabolites and prevent systemic infection in patients with liver disease. Nat Microbiol. 2023 Nov; 8(11):2033-2049. PMID: 37845315.
      Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
    4. Grelska A, Sharan D, Light SH. Purine-ifying uric acid by gut microbes. Cell Chem Biol. 2023 07 20; 30(7):706-708. PMID: 37478828.
      Citations: 3     Fields:    Translation:Animals
    5. Rivera-Lugo R, Huang S, Lee F, Iavarone AT, Sidebottom AM, Oldfield E, Portnoy DA, Light SH, Méheust R. Distinct Energy-Coupling Factor Transporter Subunits Enable Flavin Acquisition and Extracytosolic Trafficking for Extracellular Electron Transfer in Listeria monocytogenes. mBio. 2023 02 28; 14(1):e0308522. PMID: 36744898; PMCID: PMC9973259.
      Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Cells
    6. Cahoon LA, Alejandro-Navarreto X, Gururaja AN, Light SH, Alonzo F, Anderson WF, Freitag NE. Listeria monocytogenes two component system PieRS regulates secretion chaperones PrsA1 and PrsA2 and enhances bacterial translocation across the intestine. Mol Microbiol. 2022 09; 118(3):278-293. PMID: 35943959; PMCID: PMC9545042.
      Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:HumansCells
    7. Little AS, Light SH. Stickland metabolism in the gut. Nat Microbiol. 2022 05; 7(5):603-604. PMID: 35505246.
      Citations:    Fields:    
    8. Smith KP, Lee W, Tonelli M, Lee Y, Light SH, Cornilescu G, Chakravarthy S. Solution structure and dynamics of the mitochondrial-targeted GTPase-activating protein (GAP) VopE by an integrated NMR/SAXS approach. Protein Sci. 2022 05; 31(5):e4282. PMID: 35137487; PMCID: PMC9047041.
      Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Cells
    9. Rivera-Lugo R, Deng D, Anaya-Sanchez A, Tejedor-Sanz S, Tang E, Reyes Ruiz VM, Smith HB, Titov DV, Sauer JD, Skaar EP, Ajo-Franklin CM, Portnoy DA, Light SH. Listeria monocytogenes requires cellular respiration for NAD+ regeneration and pathogenesis. Elife. 2022 04 05; 11. PMID: 35380108; PMCID: PMC9094743.
      Citations: 11     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    10. Rivera-Lugo R, Light SH, Garelis NE, Portnoy DA. RibU is an essential determinant of Listeria pathogenesis that mediates acquisition of FMN and FAD during intracellular growth. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 03 29; 119(13):e2122173119. PMID: 35316134; PMCID: PMC9060500.
      Citations: 5     Fields:    Translation:Cells
    11. Tejedor-Sanz S, Stevens ET, Li S, Finnegan P, Nelson J, Knoesen A, Light SH, Ajo-Franklin CM, Marco ML. Extracellular electron transfer increases fermentation in lactic acid bacteria via a hybrid metabolism. Elife. 2022 02 11; 11. PMID: 35147079; PMCID: PMC8837199.
      Citations: 16     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    12. Pfister CA, Light SH, Bohannan B, Schmidt T, Martiny A, Hynson NA, Devkota S, David L, Whiteson K. Conceptual Exchanges for Understanding Free-Living and Host-Associated Microbiomes. mSystems. 2022 02 22; 7(1):e0137421. PMID: 35014872; PMCID: PMC8751383.
      Citations: 1     Fields:    
    13. Huang S, Rivera-Lugo R, Banfield JF, Light SH, Méheust R. Post-translational flavinylation is associated with diverse extracytosolic redox functionalities throughout bacterial life. Elife. 2021 05 25; 10. PMID: 34032212; PMCID: PMC8238504.
      Citations: 9     Fields:    Translation:Cells
    14. Zeng Z, Boeren S, Bhandula V, Light SH, Smid EJ, Notebaart RA, Abee T. Bacterial Microcompartments Coupled with Extracellular Electron Transfer Drive the Anaerobic Utilization of Ethanolamine in Listeria monocytogenes. mSystems. 2021 Apr 13; 6(2). PMID: 33850044; PMCID: PMC8547011.
      Citations: 6     Fields:    
    15. Light SH, Ferrell JL, Cho J, Deng D, Agostoni M, Iavarone AT, Banfield JF, D'Orazio SEF, Portnoy DA, Méheust R. Extracellular electron transfer powers flavinylated extracellular reductases in Gram-positive bacteria. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Dec 26; 116(52):26892-26899. PMID: 31818955; PMCID: PMC6936397.
      Citations: 29     Fields:    
    16. Light SH, Su L, Rivera-Lugo R, Cornejo JA, Louie A, Iavarone AT, Ajo-Franklin CM, Portnoy DA. A flavin-based extracellular electron transfer mechanism in diverse Gram-positive bacteria. Nature. 2018 10; 562(7725):140-144. PMID: 30209391; PMCID: PMC6221200.
      Citations: 149     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
    17. Light SH, Cahoon LA, Mahasenan KV, Lee M, Boggess B, Halavaty AS, Mobashery S, Freitag NE, Anderson WF. Transferase Versus Hydrolase: The Role of Conformational Flexibility in Reaction Specificity. Structure. 2017 02 07; 25(2):295-304. PMID: 28089449; PMCID: PMC5299038.
      Citations: 8     Fields:    Translation:Cells
    18. Light SH, Cahoon LA, Halavaty AS, Freitag NE, Anderson WF. Structure to function of an a-glucan metabolic pathway that promotes Listeria monocytogenes pathogenesis. Nat Microbiol. 2016 Nov 07; 2:16202. PMID: 27819654.
      Citations: 14     Fields:    Translation:Cells
    19. Light SH, Minasov G, Shuvalova L, Duban ME, Caffrey M, Anderson WF, Lavie A. Insights into the mechanism of type I dehydroquinate dehydratases from structures of reaction intermediates. J Biol Chem. 2015 Jul 31; 290(31):19008. PMID: 26232400; PMCID: PMC4521023.
      Citations: 1     Fields:    
    20. Shaw KE, Bondi CO, Light SH, Massimino LA, McAloon RL, Monaco CM, Kline AE. Donepezil is ineffective in promoting motor and cognitive benefits after controlled cortical impact injury in male rats. J Neurotrauma. 2013 Apr 01; 30(7):557-64. PMID: 23227953; PMCID: PMC3636588.
      Citations: 19     Fields:    Translation:Animals
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