Dr. Lightfoot received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Northeast Louisiana University and his doctorate from the University of Tennessee. He then completed a research consultantship with 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, and a Professor at the University of North Carolina Charlotte for 14 years, 11years of which he was Chair of the department. Dr. Lightfoot has published over 50 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 is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health to conduct research on the genetics of physical activity. His lab also has an unique interest in the physiological responses of motorsports athletes to the race environment. His research has been featured in numerous general media outlets including the Los Angeles Times, Time.com, National Public Radio, the Rush Limbaugh show, CNN, the NBC Today Show, MSNBC, Charlotte Talks radio show, Revista Epoca (a Brazilian weekly magazine), and on Australian National Radio.
Dr. Lightfoot is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, a Certified Exercise Specialist, a Registered 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 twice at two different universities, was awarded the Henry Montoye Research Scholar Award by the Southeast American College of Sports Medicine in 2010 and named 2010 Alumnus of the Year of the University of Louisiana Monroe in Kinesiology.