Photo of J Timothy Lightfoot
J Timothy Lightfoot
Professor & Director, Huffines Institute, Health and Kinesiology
Office#: 356B Blocker
Mail Stop: 4243
Office Phone: (979) 845-8744
Other Title: Omar Smith Endowed Chair of Kinesiology
Directory Title: Professor & Director, Huffines Institute
Primary Emphasis Area: Kinesiology
Vita: View Document
Short Bio
Dr. J. Timothy Lightfoot is currently the Omar Smith Endowed Professor of Kinesiology and the Director of the Sydney and JL Huffines Institute for Sports Medicine and Human Performance at Texas A&M University. Dr. Lightfoot received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from University of Louisiana Monroe and his doctorate from the University of Tennessee. He completed a research consultantship with the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) at Kennedy Space Center in the Biomedical Laboratory and then a three-year National Institute of Health postdoctoral research fellowship in the Division of Physiology at Johns Hopkins University. He was an Assistant and Associate Professor at Florida Atlantic University for 6 years (two years as Department Chair), and a Professor at the University of North Carolina Charlotte for 14 years, 9 years of which he was Chair of the department. Dr. Lightfoot has published over 75 scientific, peer-reviewed articles on the genetics of daily physical activity and exercise endurance, as well as the physiological response to high-G exposure and hemorrhage and thus far has had ≈ $3 million in external funding from the National Institutes of Health and Department of Defense to conduct research on the genetics of physical activity. His lab also has a unique interest in the physiological responses of athletes in a variety of non-traditional venues such as auto racing and in musicians. He is the lead editor on the reference handbook on "Routledge Handbook of Sport and Exercise Genetics" from Routledge Publishing, and author a book series called "Living and Prospering in Academia", which is comprised of two books, "Finding the Best Faculty Job for You" and "Surviving Your First Five Years as a Faculty Member". His research has been featured in numerous general media outlets including the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times,, National Public Radio, the Rush Limbaugh show, CNN, the NBC Today Show, MSNBC, Revista Epoca (a Brazilian weekly magazine), and on Australian National Radio.

Dr. Lightfoot is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, an ACSM Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist, a Past-President of the Southeast Regional Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine, and a past member of the Board of Trustees for the American College of Sports Medicine. He has been named Teacher of the Year in his College at three different Universities (Florida Atlantic University, University of North Carolina Charlotte, and at Texas A&M University) and was awarded the Henry Montoye Research Scholar Award by the Southeast American College of Sports Medicine in 2010. He was named Alumnus of the Year of the University of Louisiana Monroe in Kinesiology in 2010 and at the University of Tennessee in 2016, gave the keynote lecture at the 2013 Performing Arts Medical Association meeting, the President's Keynote Lecture at the 2014 national American College of Sports Medicine meeting, the Keynote Speaker at the 2018 Southeast American College of Sports Medicine meeting, and was recently named the Pease Family Scholar Speaker at Iowa State University. He was awarded the University Graduate Student Mentor of the Year at Texas A&M in 2018 and the national ACSM Citation Award in May 2018. He is a native Texan and married to a brilliant and beautiful woman (Faith), used to race automobiles for fun, and has a passion for playing the bass guitar, which he does in live settings with a variety of bands.

Publications (journal articles, books, book chapters)*

1. Letsinger, A.C., J. Z. Granados, S. E. Little, J. Timothy Lightfoot. Alleles associated with physical activity levels are estimated to be older than anatomically modern humans. PLoS One. 14(4): e0216155. 2019.,

2. Lightfoot, JT, AC Letsinger*, JZ Granados*. The Evolution of Genetic Mechanisms Controlling Physical Activity. (Chapter 7), pp. 80-93. In: The Routledge Handbook of Sport and Exercise Systems Genetics. Lightfoot, Hubal, Roth (eds), Routledge Publishing, Cambridge, UK, 2019.

3. Reid, M. B., JT Lightfoot. The Physiology of Auto Racing: A Brief Review. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 51(12): 2548-2562. 2019

4. Lightfoot, JT, EJC De Geus, FW Booth, MS Bray, M den Hoed, J Kaprio, SA Kelly, D Pomp, MC Saul, MA Thomis, T Garland Jr, C Bouchard. Biological / Genetic Regulation of Physical Activity Level: Consensus from GenBioPAC. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 50(4), 863-873. 2018. doi:10.1249/MSS.0000000000001499

5. Vellers, HL*, AC Letsinger*, NR Walker*, JZ Granados*, JT Lightfoot. High Fat High Sugar Diet Reduces Voluntary Wheel Running in Mice Independent of Sex Hormone Involvement. Frontiers in Physiology -Exercise Physiology. 8: article 628 (doi: 10.3389/fphys.2017.00628), 2017.

6. Lightfoot, JT, MM Bamman, FW Booth. Translation Goes Both Ways: The Power of Reverse Translation from Human Trials into Animal Models. Translational Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine. 2(5): 29-31, 2017.

7. Schmitt EE*, HL Vellers*, WW Porter, JT Lightfoot. Environmental endocrine disruptor inhibits voluntary physical activity in mice. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 48 (7), 1251-1258, 2016 *

8. Lightfoot, JT. The McArdle’s Mouse Model: Providing Important Insight into Skeletal Muscle Regulation. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. (Commentary) Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 48(8): 1447, 2016

9. Oliver, J*, K Abbas, JT Lightfoot, K Baskin*, B Collins*, D Wier, JP Bramhall, J Huang, JB Puschett. Comparison of neurocognitive testing and the measurement of marinobufagenin in mild traumatic brain injury: a preliminary report. J. Exp. Neuroscience. 9: 67-72, 2015 *

10. Dawes, M*, KJ Kochan, PK Riggs, JT Lightfoot. Differential miRNA expression in inherently high- and low-active inbred mice. Physiol. Reports 3:7 e12469-82, 2015. *

Show All

* Publication was joint-authored with students
Diss Publication was from a dissertation
ROS Publication was from a record of study

College of Education and Human Development Grants and Contracts (Current)

Texas A&M Center for Environmental Health Research. (Co-I)
National Institutes of Health (DHHS/PHS/NIH) (Federal)
2019/04/01 - 2024/03/31
Total Funding: 58,504.

The MENTORS (Model Education Networks to Optimize Rural Science) Project. (PI)
Texas A&M University Health Science Center - NIH (Federal)
2016/08/15 - 2021/07/31
Total Funding: 102,158.

Physical Activity Impacts of a Planned Activity-Friendly Community: The What, Where, When and Why of Environmental Approaches to Obesity Prevention. (Co-I)
Texas A&M University Health Science Center - NIH (Federal)
2015/09/25 - 2020/08/31
Total Funding: 101,292.
Teaching and Student Mentorship Awards
2018 - Distinguished University Graduate Mentoring Award - Texas A&M Association of Former Students 2017 - Fishcamp Namesake, Texas A&M University 2017 - Distinguished College Level Teaching Award - Texas A&M Association of Former Students 2001 - Graduate Teacher of the Year, College of Nursing and Health Professions, University North Carolina Charlotte / 1995 - Teacher of the Year, College of Education, Florida Atlantic University
Courses Taught
Former Doctoral Students
David Fertuson (Summer, 2013), Ph.D.
Emily Schmitt (Spring, 2015), Ph.D.
Heather Leigh Vellers (Summer, 2016), Ph.D.
Ayland Cash Letsinger (Summer, 2019), Ph.D.
Jorge Granados (Fall, 2019), Ph.D.
National Professional Service
Chair, American College of Sports Medicine Science Integration & Leadership Committee (2016-2019) Member, American College of Sports Medicine Publications Committee (2016-2019) Member and Former Chair, American College of Sports Medicine Task Force on Motorsports Safety (2001-current) Associate Editor, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (2015-2018) Member and Founding Member of National Exercise Clinical Trials Network (NExTNet), (2013-current)
Editorial Positions

Associate Editor (2015 - ). Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise


(2017). AFS College Level Teaching Award. 

(2017). Pease Family Scholar at Iowa State University.  Pease Family Scholar at Iowa State University (this is a national research-based award)

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