Daniel Acosta, Jr. was the 4th dean of the University of Cincinnati’s James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy from 1996 to 2011 and a member of the faculty from 2012 through 2013. He was a member of the University of Texas College of Pharmacy faculty (1974-1996) where he helped develop a nationally ranked program in toxicology as the founding Director of the Graduate Toxicology Training Program. Dr. Acosta was selected as the Deputy Director for Research at the FDA’s National Center for Toxicology Research in 2014 and retired in 2019. As Deputy Director, he helped manage a research budget of nearly $100 million and helped supervised over 200 scientists at NCTR.
He was the first and only Hispanic dean at the University of Cincinnati and the only Hispanic dean of pharmacy among the research-intensive colleges of pharmacy across the country at the time of his appointment.
At the University of Texas College of Pharmacy, he was instrumental in promoting the profession of pharmacy and the discipline of toxicology to high school students, undergraduate students majoring in the sciences, pharmacy students, and graduate students in the pharmaceutical sciences.
For his leadership of the University Toxicology Graduate Program, he was awarded the Burroughs Wellcome Toxicology Scholar Award, one of toxicology’s highest awards for an individual who has contributed to the success and development of the discipline. He has mentored over 30 PhD, Masters, and postdoctoral fellows while he was a professor at UT. In addition, he worked with over 50 pharmacy, undergraduate, and high school students in his laboratory during his tenure at the College of Pharmacy.
While Dr. Acosta was at the University of Texas, he developed an internationally recognized research program in the relatively new field at that time--in vitro toxicology--which led to his prominence in professional societies of toxicology across the world. He was the first Hispanic toxicologist elected as President of the Society of Toxicology, the most prestigious professional toxicology organization in the world. He was very active in promoting globally the discipline of toxicology and he has visited many countries in Europe, South America, and Asia to establish stronger activities in toxicology in these countries. Because of these activities, he was elected President of the International Union of Toxicology, a federation of over 60 countries and their national toxicology organizations. Through his leadership, several new societies have been established in Africa and Asia.
He and his wife helped create the first program in the college to assist graduate students in their studies--the Daniel and Patricia Acosta Endowed Graduate Fellowship in Pharmacology & Toxicology. He has served on the College of Pharmacy's Advisory Council for seven years. His proudest moment was when he was selected as the Faculty Student Advisor of the Year at UT by the Texas Exes Association in 1996 for his work with pharmacy student organizations.
At SOT, he and his wife helped establish the Daniel and Patricia Acosta Endowment for Students of Diversity.