Biography

Dr. Daniel G. Kougias is a Senior Health Scientist with a breadth of expertise and interests that span from basic toxicology and risk assessment to focused disciplines within toxicology. Dr. Kougias completed his PhD at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Neuroscience with toxicological experience as an NIH Trainee in Endocrine, Developmental, & Reproductive Toxicology. His graduate research broadly examined dietary and hormonal influences across the lifespan on the neuroanatomy of cognitive-related brain regions and their associated impacts on cognitive behavior. Since his work investigated hormonal influences, he inevitably studied the hormone-sensitive periods of life (i.e., development, puberty, and aging) as well as sex differences. In particular, his first project explored the effects of short- and long-term supplementation of a bioactive nutrient on the neuroanatomy and cognitive function in aging male and female rats. After successfully completing this project, Dr. Kougias started his dissertation work, which investigated the neurotoxic effects of perinatal exposure to phthalates in combination with a maternal high-fat diet in both male and female rats. Dr. Kougias’s success, as reflected by a strong publication record as well as many professional honors and awards, is, in part, ascribed to acquiring a broad skillset during his undergraduate career, where he has held several interdisciplinary research positions and completed coursework for his dual degree in Molecular & Cellular Biology and Food Science & Human Nutrition.

Dr. Kougias also has regulatory writing experience from working as a research intern at Abbott Laboratories during the latter portion of his graduate career. In particular, he has prepared an FDA Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) self-affirmed dossier on a proprietary bioactive nutrient by synthesizing scientific literature about its safety, formulating a safety assessment with tabulated studies, and compiling information regarding its properties, production, and food-use specifications. Dr. Kougias also has scientific writing experience while at Abbott Laboratories, as he successfully published his first scientific review article as a first author on the topic of nutritional interventions to address the aging neuromuscular system.

Education

  • PhD, Neuroscience University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2018
  • BS, Molecular & Cellular Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2011
  • BS, Food Science & Human Nutrition, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2011
  • Certificate in Business Administration, College of Business, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Professional Associations

  • Society for Neuroscience (SfN) since 2013
  • Society of Toxicology (SOT) since 2018
  • Councilor for the SOT Midwest Regional Chapter (MRC) since 2020

Most Recent Awards/Professional Honors

  • NIEHS Extramural Paper of the Month, September 2018
  • NIH Predoctoral Traineeship in Endocrine, Developmental, & Reproductive Toxicology, 2017-2018
  • International Society for Developmental Psychobiology Travel Award, 2017
  • Environmental Toxicology Scholar, 2016-2017
  • Great Lakes National Scholarship Award, 2016-2017
  • Rated Top 10% for Instructor’s Overall Teaching Effectiveness, Spring 2015
  • List of Teachers Ranked As Excellent By Their Students, Spring 2014
  • Abbott Laboratories Scholarship (for Certificate in Business program), Spring 2013
  • Neuroscience Program Fellowship, 2012-2013
  • Robert & Dorothy Spillman Scholarship, 2011
  • Furnall Scholarship, Spring 2011
  • LAS Assistance Award, Fall 2011
  • University of Illinois Foundation Scholarship, Fall 2011