Peter Light

Dr Peter Light   

Chair, Pharmacology - July 1, 2023

Full Professor, 2010-present.
Director of the Alberta Diabetes Institute.
Dr. Charles A. Allard Chair in Diabetes Research

BSc-Honours (Biological Sciences/Cell Physiology), University of Birmingham, UK, 1986
PhD (Biological Sciences/Cell Physiology), University of Birmingham, UK,1990


Research: Molecular Pharmacology and New Therapeutics For Diabetes and Heart Disease

Research Interests / Laboratory Techniques

The research laboratory of Dr. Peter Light is located in the Alberta Diabetes Institute, University of Alberta. His lab researches ion transport processes controlling cellular excitability, utilizing a combination of electrophysiological, live-cell imaging, biochemical and molecular techniques to study the biophysics, physiology and pharmacology of ion channels and exchangers at the molecular, cellular, organ and whole organism levels.

Currently, his lab is studying the following:
  • The ionic and metabolic events that lead to cellular dysfunction in the heart and endocrine pancreas.
  • The physiology and pathophysiology of human pancreatic islets with respect to incretin biology.
  • The design and development of small molecules for the treatment of heart failure, cardiac arrhythmias and type 2 diabetes.
  • ATP-sensitive potassium channel function and molecular pharmacology.
  • Anti-diabetic drug pharmacology and cardiovascular safety.
  • Non-invasive continuous real-time sensing of glucose and other metabolites
  • Endogenous light-sensitive signaling pathways in subcutaneous adipocytes.
Funding: His research program is currently funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Alberta Diabetes Foundation.
Selected Recent Publications

1. Evidence for the existence and potential roles of intra-islet glucagon-like peptide-1. Campbell SA, Johnson J, Light PE. Islets. 2021 Mar 4;13(1-2):32-50. doi: 10.1080/19382014.2021.1889941. Epub 2021 Mar 16. PMID: 33724156 Free PMC article. Review.

2. Cardiac Late Sodium Channel Current Is a Molecular Target for the Sodium/Glucose Cotransporter 2 Inhibitor Empagliflozin. Philippaert K, Kalyaanamoorthy S, Fatehi M, Long W, Soni S, Byrne NJ, Barr A, Singh J, Wong J, Palechuk T, Schneider C, Darwesh AM, Maayah ZH, Seubert JM, Barakat K, Dyck JRB, Light PE. Circulation. 2021 Jun;143(22):2188-2204. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.121.053350. Epub 2021 Apr 9. PMID: 33832341 Free PMC article.

3. Decoding the effects of SGLT2 inhibitors on cardiac arrhythmias in heart failure. Light PE. Eur Heart J. 2021 Sep 21;42(36):3739-3740. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehab563. PMID: 34447979 Free PMC article. No abstract available.

4. Mixed SYGnals in potassium channels: a mechanism for alternative ion conduction in human Kir3.2 channel mutations. Light PE. J Physiol. 2022 Feb;600(3):427-428. doi: 10.1113/JP282666. Epub 2022 Jan 17. PMID: 34967445 No abstract available.

5. Cardiac mechanisms of the beneficial effects of SGLT2 inhibitors in heart failure: Evidence for potential off-target effects. Dyck JRB, Sossalla S, Hamdani N, Coronel R, Weber NC, Light PE, Zuurbier CJ. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 2022 Jun;167:17-31. doi: 10.1016/j.yjmcc.2022.03.005. Epub 2022 Mar 22. PMID: 35331696 Review.

6. Non-Invasive Lactate Monitoring System Using Wearable Chipless Microwave Sensors With Enhanced Sensitivity and Zero Power Consumption. Baghelani M, Abbasi Z, Daneshmand M, Light PE. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2022 Oct;69(10):3175-3182. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2022.3162315. Epub 2022 Sep 19. PMID: 35333709

7. Non-invasive continuous-time glucose monitoring system using a chipless printable sensor based on split ring microwave resonators. Baghelani M, Abbasi Z, Daneshmand M, Light PE. Sci Rep. 2020 Jul 31;10(1):12980. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-69547-1. PMID: 32737348 Free PMC article.

8. Vitamin D is an endogenous partial agonist of the transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 channel. Long W, Fatehi M, Soni S, Panigrahi R, Philippaert K, Yu Y, Kelly R, Boonen B, Barr A, Golec D, Campbell SA, Ondrusova K, Hubert M, Baldwin T, Lemieux MJ, Light PE. J Physiol. 2020 Oct;598(19):4321-4338. doi: 10.1113/JP279961. Epub 2020 Aug 13. PMID: 32721035 Free PMC article.

9. Human islets contain a subpopulation of glucagon-like peptide-1 secreting α cells that is increased in type 2 diabetes. Campbell SA, Golec DP, Hubert M, Johnson J, Salamon N, Barr A, MacDonald PE, Philippaert K, Light PE. Mol Metab. 2020 Sep;39:101014. doi: 10.1016/j.molmet.2020.101014. Epub 2020 May 12. PMID: 32413586 Free PMC article.

10. Empagliflozin Blunts Worsening Cardiac Dysfunction Associated With Reduced NLRP3 (Nucleotide-Binding Domain-Like Receptor Protein 3) Inflammasome Activation in Heart Failure. Byrne NJ, Matsumura N, Maayah ZH, Ferdaoussi M, Takahara S, Darwesh AM, Levasseur JL, Jahng JWS, Vos D, Parajuli N, El-Kadi AOS, Braam B, Young ME, Verma S, Light PE, Sweeney G, Seubert JM, Dyck JRB. Circ Heart Fail. 2020 Jan;13(1):e006277. doi: 10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.119.006277. Epub 2020 Jan 20. PMID: 31957470

11. Co-starting sitagliptin with metformin is associated with a lower likelihood of disease progression in newly treated people with type 2 diabetes: a cohort study. Campbell SA, Light PE, Simpson SH. Diabet Med. 2020 Oct;37(10):1715-1722. doi: 10.1111/dme.14154. Epub 2019 Nov 6. PMID: 31618475

12. Subcutaneous white adipocytes express a light sensitive signaling pathway mediated via a melanopsin/TRPC channel axis. Ondrusova K, Fatehi M, Barr A, Czarnecka Z, Long W, Suzuki K, Campbell S, Philippaert K, Hubert M, Tredget E, Kwan P, Touret N, Wabitsch M, Lee KY, Light PE. Sci Rep. 2017 Nov 27;7(1):16332. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-16689-4. PMID: 29180820 Free PMC article.

13. Hearts lacking plasma membrane KATP channels display changes in basal aerobic metabolic substrate preference and AMPK activity. Youssef N, Campbell S, Barr A, Gandhi M, Hunter B, Dolinsky V, Dyck JRB, Clanachan AS, Light PE. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2017 Sep 1;313(3):H469-H478. doi: 10.1152/ajpheart.00612.2016. Epub 2017 Jun 30. PMID: 28667052