Robley J. Light, Professor Emeritus
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL 32306-4390
Phone:  (850) 644-3844
Fax:      (850) 644-8281
email:     rlight@chem.fsu.edu
Class pages index:
   http://www.chem.fsu.edu/editors/rlight/course-pages.html

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Light received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from Virginia Tech in 1957 and his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Duke University in 1961. Following two years of postdoctoral work in Biochemistry with Nobel laureate Konrad Bloch at Harvard University, he joined the Chemistry faculty at Florida State in 1962. He was a Phi Kappa Phi and a National Science Foundation predoctoral fellow at Duke and a National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at Harvard.

Dr. Light was promoted to Professor of Chemistry in 1972. He served as Associate Chairman of Chemistry from 1974-77 and Chairman from 1983-1990. He also served as Acting Director of the Program in Medical Sciences in 1978-79, which was the precursor of the new College of Medicine. He chaired an Arts and Sciences Ad Hoc committee in 1969 that planned the development of the Program in Medical Sciences. He chaired another College Ad Hoc committee in 1983 that led to the development of the Office of Science Teaching Activities within the College of Arts and Sciences and to the College's undergraduate major in Secondary Science and Math Teaching. He spearheaded the development of the undergraduate degree program in Biochemistry, at the time the only such degree program in a Florida public institution. He wrote the successful grant application to the Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust that funded development of the new Structural Biology Program with a grant of $4.5 million, at the time the largest private foundation grant to the university.

Dr. Light's research on lipid metabolism and fungal secondary metabolism was recognized by a US Public Health Service Research Career Development Award from 1967-72 and by the German government's Alexander von Humboldt Senior Scientist Award in 1977. His research was funded for twenty-five years by grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. His research collaborations abroad include six months in 1972 with Nobel Laureate Bengt Samuelsson in Stockholm, Sweden, and seven months in 1977 with Klaus Hahlbrock in Freiburg, West Germany. He has directed the research of eleven Ph.D. and seven M.S. students. He spent one year in 1990-91 as a Program Director at the National Science Foundation and at the time also served as a member of the Advisory Council for the National Center for Research Resources at NIH.

Dr. Light received the George Miller Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1967, one of only two university-wide teaching awards that year. He is a charter member of the President's Council for Excellence in College Teaching. He is the author of a freshman-level introductory textbook in biochemistry. He has been active in both Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi, serving as chapter president of the Alpha of Florida chapter of Phi Beta Kappa in 1971-72 and again in 1993-94, and as chapter president of the FSU chapter of Phi Kappa Phi in 1994-95.

Dr. Light served on the Faculty Senate Professional Relations and Welfare Committee from 1993-1997, chairing the committee in 1996-97. He was a member of the FSU Faculty Senate Steering Committee from 1996 to 2002, and he served as President of the Faculty Senate from 1998 to 2000.

Dr. Light retired on June 30, 2003 but continues part time activity with web development, teaching, and consulting.

Dr. Light has been happily married to Jeanne K. Light since 1960. They have one son, George Evans Light, who has a Ph.D. in English literature from Stanford University.. For recreation, the Light's enjoy managing and using their vacation rental home at Lake Junaluska, NC.

Revised January 2004