ALAN R LIGHT portrait
  • Adjunct Professor, Neurobiology & Anatomy Labs
  • Research Professor, Department Of Anesthesiology

Research Statement

Dr. Alan R. Light is currently Professor of Anesthesiology and Neurobiology and Anatomy at the University of Utah.  He received his BA from Hamilton College in 1972, and a Ph.D. in Physiology at SUNY Upstate in 1976, and did his postdoctoral work under Dr. Edward Perl, then worked through the ranks to Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Dr. Light moved to the University of Utah School of Medicine in 2003, where he is a member of the Pain Research Center and Program in Neuroscience.  Dr. Light has published over 90 peer reviewed research articles focused on the peripheral and spinal cord mechanisms of pain processing, and its descending control.  He has contributed to a number of advanced reviews and textbooks on pain, and authored the monograph “The Initial Processing of Pain and its Descending Control” published in the Pain and Headache series by Karger press and edited Translational Pain Research: From Mouse to Man.  He received a Javits Award from NIH for his research on descending control of pain.  He is course director of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience at University of Utah.  His current research focuses on the mechanisms of the sensations of muscle pain and fatigue, and the plasticity they undergo following inflammation, injury and in functional disorders such as Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Syndromes.

Research Equipment and Testing Expertise

  • Calcium Imaging, real-time quantitative PCR, fatigue testing, nociceptive tests.


  • English, fluent.

Geographical Regions of Interest

  • Canada
  • China
  • Japan


  • Severity of symptom flare after moderate exercise is linked to cytokine activity in chronic fatigue syndrome ANDREA T. WHITE, ALAN R. LIGHT, RONALD W. HUGHEN, LUCINDA BATEMAN, THOMAS B. MARTINS, HARRY R. HILL, and KATHLEEN C. LIGHT Psychophysiology, (2010), 1–10. Published, 2010.
  • 15) Light A.R. Vierck C.J., Light K.C. Chapter 8 Myalgia and Fatigue—Translation from Mouse Sensory Neurons to Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndromes In: Lawrence Kruger and Alan Light, editors Translational Pain Research – From Mouse to Man: Taylor and Francis (2010). Published, 2010.
  • What is this thing "fatigue" anyway? Light AR. J Appl Physiol. 2010 Feb;108(2):464-5. Published, 2010.
  • White A, Lee J, Light A, Light K. Brain activation in multiple sclerosis: a BOLD fMRI study of the effects of fatiguing hand exercise. Mult Scler. 15:580-6 (2009). Published, 2009.
  • 74) Coryell,M.W.; Wunsch,A.M.; Haenfler,J.M.; Allen,J.E.; Schnizler,M.; Ziemann,A.E.; Cook,M.N.; Dunning,J.P.; Price,M.P.; Rainier,J.D.; Liu,Z.; Light,A.R.; Langbehn,D.R.; Wemmie,J.A. Acid-sensing ion channel-1a in the amygdala, a novel therapeutic target in depression-related behavior. J Neurosci. 29:5381-5388 (2009). Published, 2009.
  • Experimental occlusal interference induces long-term masticatory muscle hyperalgesia in rats. Cao Y, Xie QF, Li K, Light AR, Fu KY. Pain. 2009 Aug;144(3):287-93. Epub 2009 May 26. Published, 2009.
  • Moderate Exercise Increases Expression for Sensory, Adrenergic, and Immune Genes in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Patients But Not in Normal Subjects. Light AR, White AT, Hughen RW, Light KC. J Pain. 2009 10:1099-112. Published, 2009.
  • Microhabitats within venomous cone snails yield diverse actinobacteria. Peraud O, Biggs JS, Hughen RW, Light AR, Concepcion GP, Olivera BM, Schmidt EW. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2009 Sep 11. [Epub ahead of print. Published, 2009.
  • ASIC1 and ASIC3 Play Different Roles in the Development of Hyperalgesia After Inflammatory Muscle Injury. Walder RY, Rasmussen LA, Rainier JD, Light AR, Wemmie JA, Sluka KA. J Pain. 2009 Dec 14. [Epub ahead of print]. Published, 2009.