Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry Homepage University of Alberta Homepage

Profile of Peter Light, PhD

Zam Kassiri
Assistant Professor
6-126A HRIF East
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T6G 2S2

Tel: 780.492.0638
Lab: 780.492.6150

Fax: 780.492.8836




AHFMR Senior Scholarship

Professor, Department of Pharmacology

Research Area

Cellular Excitability in Type 2 Diabetes and Ischemic Heart Disease

Research Synopsis

Islet signaling and diabetes

My laboratory studies the ionic events that control insulin secretion and how dysfunction can lead to impaired/incorrect insulin secretion contributing to the development of type II diabetes. In pancreatic beta-cells, hormonal and metabolic control of ion channel and exchanger function is crucial in transducing the correct insulin secretory response. We are studying the links between common genetic variations in the ATP-sensitive potassium channel in relation to fat metabolism. In addition, we are also investigating the potential for development of novel "glucose-sensitive" therapeutic agents that target ion transport processes within the beta-cell.

Islet engineering

The "Edmonton protocol" has now become the gold standard for islet transplantation. However, there is still a clear need to improve both the longevity and function of the islet grafts. My lab is using molecular and gene delivery techniques in the in vitro donor islets to facilitate islet graft survival and insulin secretory capacity.

Cardiac ischemia reperfusion injury

Our continuing studies on cardiac tissue have direct implications for the reversible (arrhythmias and stunning) and irreversible (necrosis/apoptosis) damage that occurs during myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (IR) injury. In this regard, it is a current focus of my laboratory’s research program to provide important new information on the cellular ionic events that occur during IR injury and identify mechanisms that may be harnessed to reduce myocardial damage. Specifically we are studying the roles of ATP-sensitive potassium channels and sodium/calcium exchangers (NCX1) in the etiology of IR injury, cardiac surgery and transplantation.



KATP channel, beta-cell, type 2 diabetes, cell signaling, heart disease

Back to top
Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry Homepage Copyright © 2006-2016
Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Privacy Policy