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Dominic D’Agostino, Ph.D., has maintained involvement in a vast array of professional, academic and personal endeavors. As an Associate Professor with tenure at the University of South Florida, Dom teaches students of the Morsani College of Medicine and the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology, with a focus on such topics as neuropharmacology, medical biochemistry, physiology, neuroscience, and neuropharmacology. He is also a Research Scientist at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) to assist with their efforts towards optimizing the safety, health and resilience of the warfighter and astronaut.

His laboratory develops and tests metabolic-based strategies for targeting CNS oxygen toxicity (seizures), epilepsy, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer. To investigate the mechanism of these pathologies he uses a variety of in vivo and in vitro techniques, including radio-telemetry (EEG, EMG), electrophysiology, fluorescence microscopy, confocal microscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM), biochemical assays and in vivo bioluminescence imaging.  His laboratory has adapted many of these techniques for use inside environmental chambers, which allows them to manipulate oxygen concentrations (from hypoxia to hyperbaric oxygen). His current project is to identify cellular mechanisms of seizures from CNS oxygen toxicity and to develop mitigation strategies against it. His efforts have focused specifically on measuring brain EEG, neuronal excitability, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and biomarkers of oxidative stress.  The main focus of his lab over the last 10 years has been understanding the anticonvulsant and neuroprotective mechanism of the ketogenic diet and ketone metabolite supplementation. The shift in brain metabolism (from glucose to ketones) reduces neuronal hyperexcitability, oxidative stress and enhances brain energy metabolism. This approach can be used to treat a wide variety of pathologies linked pathophysiologically to metabolic dysregulation, including cancer.  Other areas of interest include researching drugs that target cancer-specific metabolic pathways.  He was a research investigator and crew member on NASA’s Extreme Environment Mission Operation (NEEMO 22) and has a personal interest in environmental medicine and methods to enhance safety and physiological resilience in extreme environments. His research is supported by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Department of Defense (DoD), private organizations and foundations.

With a wide range of research interests, Dominic D’Agostino holds membership in the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Society, Aerospace Medical Association, Society of Neuroscience, American Physiological Society, and the American Association of Cancer Research, additionally serving on numerous editorial boards and as a Reviewer for dozens scholarly publications. Before joining the faculty at USF, D’Agostino completed a postdoctoral fellowship in neuroscience at Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University. A graduate of Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Rutgers University, Dominic D’Agostino earned his Ph.D. and B.S. from these respective institutions.


This is the personal blog of Dom D’Agostino.  Guest writers assist with content on the blog based on their expertise and topics of interest.

Dom occasionally receives speaking honorariums (that support his research) from academic institutions, industry and organizations when asked to speak about his research or personal experience.

Dom makes comments and reviews on his blog regarding other products he personally uses. For some of these products he may receive compensation from such companies in the form of affiliate income. Affiliate income generated is used to support expenses related to research.


  • 1994 - 1998: B.S. Nutritional Sciences and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ    
  • 1999~2004 Ph.D. Neuroscience and Physiology; Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine; Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Rutgers University, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ (UMDNJ), New Brunswick, NJ  
  • Doctoral Dissertation: “Heme oxygenase is necessary for hypoxic chemosensitivity of cultured rostral ventrolateral medulla neurons” September 3, 2004; UMDNJ-RWJMS (MEB) Mentor: Judith A. Neubauer, Ph.D.   

Academic Employment and research experience

  • 2004~2006:  Postdoctoral Fellow (Mentor: Prof. Jay B. Dean)  Department of Neuroscience, Cell Biology and Physiology)  Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Dayton, OH   
  • 2006~2008:  Postdoctoral Fellow  Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, Tampa FL    
  • 2008~2010: Research Assistant Professor (Non-Tenure Track) Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, Tampa FL    
  • 2010~2015: Assistant Professor (Tenure Track)  Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology  University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, Tampa FL    
  • 2016~Present: Associate Professor (Tenured)  Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology  University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, Tampa FL    
  • 2014~Present:  Visiting Research Scientist   Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC)    Ocala, FL 34471  

1. Somlyai G, Collins QT, Meuillet EJ, Hitendra P, D’Agostino DP, Boros LG. Structural homologies between phenformin, lipitor and gleevec aim the same metabolic oncotarget in leukemia and melanoma. Oncotarget; DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.16238  

2. Seyfried TN; Yu G; Maroon JC; D’Agostino DP. (2017) Press-Pulse: A Therapeutic Strategy for the Metabolic Management of Cancer. Nutrition and Metabolism (London) (2017) Feb 23;14:19.   

3. Ari C. Canfield CE; Copes N, Poff AM, Fiorelli TN, Landon CS, Goldhagen CR, Mavromates N, D’Agostino DP.(2017) Biochemical alterations in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Mouse Model resulted from the Deanna Protocol Supplement Complex. Metabolomics 13:55; DOI 10.1007/s11306-017-1183-1 

4. Ari C, Kovacs Z, Juhasz G, Murdun C, Goldhagen CR, Koutnik A, Poff AM, Kesl SL, D’Agostino DP. (2016) Exogenous ketone supplements reduce anxiety-related behavior in Sprague-Dawley and Wistar Albino Glaxo/Rijswijk rats. Frontiers Molecular Neuroscience; 9: 137. doi:  10.3389/fnmol.2016.00137 

5. Poff, A. M., Kernagis, D. and D'Agostino, DP. 2016. Hyperbaric Environment: Oxygen and Cellular Damage versus Protection. Comprehensive Physiology. 7:213–234. 

6. Egan B, D'Agostino DP. (2016) Fueling Performance: Ketones Enter the Mix. Cell Metabolism. Sep 13;24(3):373-5. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2016.08.021 

7. Ciarlone SL; Grieco JC, D'Agostino DP, Weeber E. Ketone ester supplementation attenuates seizure activity, and improves behavior and hippocampal synaptic plasticity in an Angelman syndrome mouse model. Neurobiology of Disease (2016)  Dec;96:38-46.  doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2016.08.002.  

8. Wilson JM, Lowery RP, Sharp MH, Shields K, Roberts MD, De Souza EO, Joy JM, Ormes J, Rauch JT, Silva J, Volek JS, D'Agostino DP. (2016) The Effects of Ketogenic Dieting on Body Composition, Strength, Power, and Hormonal Profiles in Resistance Training Males. Accepted: Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research(JSCR-08-6651R2)  

9. Colquhoun RJ, Gai1 CM, Walters J, Brannon A, Kilpatrick MW, D’Agostino DP; Campbell BI. Comparison of Powerlifting Performance in Trained Males Using Traditional and Flexible Daily Undulating Periodization. (2016) J Strength Cond Res. 2017 Feb;31(2):283-291. DOI: 10.1519/JSC.01500 

10. Kesl SL, Poff AM, Ward NP, Fiorelli TN, Ari C, Van Putten AJ, Sherwood JW, Arnold P, D’Agostino DP. (2015) Effects of exogenous ketone supplementation on blood ketone, glucose, triglyceride, and lipoprotein levels in Sprague–Dawley rats. Nutrition and Metabolism; 2016 Feb 4;13:9. doi: 10.1186/s12986-016-0069-y 

11. Ari C, D’Agostino DP. Contingency checking and self-directed behaviors in giant manta rays: do fish have self-awareness? Journal of Ethology, May 2016, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 167-174.  

12. Viggiano A, Pilla R, Arnold P, Marcellino M, D’Agostino DP, Zeppa P, Coppola G. Different calorie restriction treatments have similar anti-seizure efficacy. Seizure-European Journal of Epilepsy; 2016 Feb;35:45-9. doi: 10.1016/j.seizure.2016.01.003 

13. Boros L, D’Agostino DP, Katz HE, Roth JP, Meuillet EJ, Somlyati G. Submolecular regulation of cell transformation by deuterium depleting water exchange reactions in the tricarboxylic acid substrate cycle. Medical Hypotheses 87 (2016) 69–74; DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mehy.2015.11.016 

14. Poff A, Ward N, Seyfried T, Arnold P, D’Agostino DP. A novel non-toxic metabolic therapy – ketogenic diet, ketone supplementation, and hyperbaric oxygen – elicit potent anti-cancer effects in vitro and in vivo. PloS One. 2015 Jun 10;10(6):e0127407. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0127407 

15. Viggiano A, Pilla R, Arnold P, Marcellino M, D’Agostino DP, Coppola G. (2015) Anticonvulsant properties of an oral ketone ester in a pentylenetetrazole-model of seizure. Brain Res. 2015 May 27. pii: S0006-8993(15)00425-4. DOI: 10.1016/j.brainres.2015.05.023. 

16. Youm Y, Nguyen K, Grant RW, Golgberg EL, Bodogai M, Kim D, D’Agostino DP, Planavsky N, Lupfer C, Kanneganti TD, Kang S, Horvath TL, Fahmy TM, Crawford PA, Biragyn A, Alnemri E, Dixit VD. "Ketone body β-hydroxybutyrate blocks NLRP3 inflammasome-mediated inflammatory disease. Nature Medicine, 2015 Mar;21(3):263-9 DOI: 10.1038/nm.3804.  

17. Ari, C., Poff, A.M., Held, H.E., Landon, C.S., Goldhagen, C.R., Mavromates, N., D’Agostino, DP. Metabolic therapy with Deanna Protocol Supplementation Delays Disease Progression and Extends Survival in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Mouse Model. PLoS One. 2014 Jul 25;9(7):e103526. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0103526 

18. Seyfried T, Flores R, Poff AM, D’Agostino DP, Mukherjee P. Metabolic therapy: A new paradigm for managing malignant brain cancer. Cancer Letters. 2014;356(2): 289-300. DOI: 10.1016/j.canlet.2014.07.015.  

19. Seyfried TN, Marsh J, Mukherjee P, Zuccoli G, D’Agostino DP. Could Metabolic Therapy Become a Viable Alternative to the Standard of Care for Managing Glioblastoma? Oncology & Hematology Review, 2014;10(1):13–20. DOI: 10.17925/USN.2014.10.01.48  

20. Seyfried TN, Poff A, D’Agostino DP. Cancer as a Metabolic Disease: Implications for Novel Therapeutics. Carcinogenesis. 2014, Mar;35(3):515-27. DOI: a10.1093/carcin/bgt480.  

21. Poff A, Ari C, Seyfried TN, D’Agostino DP. Ketone Supplementation Decreases Tumor Cell Viability and Prolongs Survival of Mice with Metastatic Cancer. International Journal of Cancer: 2014 Oct. 1;135(7):1711-20. DOI: 10.1002/ijc.28809 

22. Brownlow ML, Benner L, Benner L, Joly-Amando A, Azam S, D’Agostino DP, Gordon MN, Morgan D. Calorie restriction, but not ketogenic diet, improves cognition in models of Alzheimer's pathology. Alzheimers’s and Dementia. 2013 9(4): P160. DOI: 10.1016/j.jalz.2013.05.240  

23. Brownlow ML, Benner L, D’Agostino DP, Gordon MN, Morgan D. Ketogenic diet improves motor performance but not cognition in two mouse models of Alzheimer's pathology. PLoS One. 2013 Sep 12;8(9):e75713. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0075713. 

24. Poff A, Ari C, Seyfried TN, D’Agostino, DP. The Ketogenic Diet and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Prolong Survival in Mice with Systemic Metastatic Cancer. PLoS One., 2013; 8 (6): e65522 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065522 

25. D’Agostino, D.P., Pilla, R., Held, H.E., Landon, C.S., Puchowicz, M., Brunengraber, H., Ari, C., Arnold, P. and Dean, J.B. Therapeutic ketosis with ketone ester delays central nervous system oxygen toxicity seizures in rats. AJP Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 2013 May 15;304(10):R829-36. DOI: 10.1152/ajpregu.00506.2012.  

26. Paoli A, Grimaldi K, D'Agostino D, Cenci L, Moro T, Bianco A, Palma A. Ketogenic diet does not affect strength performance in elite artistic gymnasts. Journal of International Society Sports Nutrition. 2012 July 26;9(1):34, DOI: 10.1186/1550-2783-9-34 

27. D'Agostino DP, McNally H, Dean JB. Hyperbaric atomic force microscopy (AFM) and fluorescence microscopy for biological applications. Journal of Microscopy; Jan 12; 245 (3), 2012. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2818.2011.03599.x. PMID: 22455392 

28. D'Agostino DP, McNally H, Dean JB. Development and testing of hyperbaric atomic force microscopy (AFM) for biological applications. Microscopy and Microanalysis, 2011. vol. 16, issue S2, pp. 1042-1043. DOI: 10.1017/S1431927610057739. 

29. D'Agostino DP, Olson JE, Dean JB. Acute hyperoxia increases lipid peroxidation and induces plasma membrane blebbing in human U87 glioblastoma cells. Neuroscience; 2009; Mar 31;159(3):1011-22. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2009.01.062. PMID: 19356685 

30. D’Agostino DP, Mazza EM, Neubauer JA. (2008) Heme oxygenase is necessary for the excitatory response of cultured neonatal rat rostral ventrolateral medulla neurons. AJP Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. 2009. Jan;296(1):R102-18. 10.1152/ajpregu.90325 PMID: 18971354 

31. D'Agostino DP, Colomb DG Jr, Dean JB. Effects of hyperbaric gases on membrane nanostructure and function in neurons. J Appl Physiol. 2009 Mar;106(3):996-1003 Review. PMID: 18818382. DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.91070.2008. 

32. D’Agostino DP, Putnam RW, and Dean JB. Superoxide (·O2-) production in CA1 neurons of rat hippocampal slices exposed to graded levels of oxygen. Journal of Neurophysiology. 2007. Aug;98(2):1030-41. PMID: 17553943