Sam Light, PhD

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.

University of California
Berkeley
Postdoctoral Fellow
2019

Northwestern University
Postdoctoral Associate
2016

Northwestern University
PhD
2013

Bard College
BA
2008

Post-translational flavinylation is associated with diverse extracytosolic redox functionalities throughout bacterial life.
Méheust R, Huang S, Rivera-Lugo R, Banfield JF, Light SH. Post-translational flavinylation is associated with diverse extracytosolic redox functionalities throughout bacterial life. Elife. 2021 May 25; 10.
PMID: 34032212

Bacterial Microcompartments Coupled with Extracellular Electron Transfer Drive the Anaerobic Utilization of Ethanolamine in Listeria monocytogenes.
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

Extracellular electron transfer powers flavinylated extracellular reductases in Gram-positive bacteria.
Light SH, Méheust R, Ferrell JL, Cho J, Deng D, Agostoni M, Iavarone AT, Banfield JF, D'Orazio SEF, Portnoy DA. Extracellular electron transfer powers flavinylated extracellular reductases in Gram-positive bacteria. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2019 Dec 09.
PMID: 31818955

A flavin-based extracellular electron transfer mechanism in diverse Gram-positive bacteria.
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

Listeria monocytogenes InlP interacts with afadin and facilitates basement membrane crossing.
Faralla C, Bastounis EE, Ortega FE, Light SH, Rizzuto G, Gao L, Marciano DK, Nocadello S, Anderson WF, Robbins JR, Theriot JA, Bakardjiev AI. Listeria monocytogenes InlP interacts with afadin and facilitates basement membrane crossing. PLoS Pathog. 2018 05; 14(5):e1007094.
PMID: 29847585

Transferase Versus Hydrolase: The Role of Conformational Flexibility in Reaction Specificity.
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

Identification of novel small molecule inhibitors against NS2B/NS3 serine protease from Zika virus.
Lee H, Ren J, Nocadello S, Rice AJ, Ojeda I, Light S, Minasov G, Vargas J, Nagarathnam D, Anderson WF, Johnson ME. Identification of novel small molecule inhibitors against NS2B/NS3 serine protease from Zika virus. Antiviral Res. 2017 Mar; 139:49-58.
PMID: 28034741

Structure to function of an a-glucan metabolic pathway that promotes Listeria monocytogenes pathogenesis.
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

An Unusual Cation-Binding Site and Distinct Domain-Domain Interactions Distinguish Class II Enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate Synthases.
Light SH, Krishna SN, Minasov G, Anderson WF. An Unusual Cation-Binding Site and Distinct Domain-Domain Interactions Distinguish Class II Enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate Synthases. Biochemistry. 2016 Mar 01; 55(8):1239-45.
PMID: 26813771

Insights into the mechanism of type I dehydroquinate dehydratases from structures of reaction intermediates.
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

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