MSU animal and dairy science postdoc receives early career award

Contact: Meg Henderson

Studio portrait of Zully E. Contreras-Correa
Zully E. Contreras-Correa (Photo submitted)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—A Mississippi State postdoctoral associate in the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences is one of only 12 individuals nationwide being recognized this week with the 2022 Young Scholar Award from the American Society of Animal Science.

ASAS, the largest and oldest animal science organization in the country, is honoring Zully E. Contreras-Correa this week at the 2022 ASAS-CSAS Annual Meeting and Trade Show in Oklahoma City for her outstanding contributions in the field.

ASAS was founded in 1908 and focuses on animal science research. Today, the society has over 7,000 members with diverse backgrounds, including research professionals and undergraduate and graduate students.

The Young Scholar Award program recognizes the accomplishments of recent Ph.D. graduates and current Ph.D. students in advanced stages of their program. At the meeting, Contreras-Correa is delivering a presentation on her latest research involving fetal programming to an audience of academic and industry professionals.

“I’m honored to give an invited talk at the annual meeting because I will be able to share the great research that is being done at Mississippi State University to advance animal agriculture,” she said.

After earning a bachelor’s in biology and master’s in animal science from the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez, Contreras-Correa came to Mississippi State to pursue her doctoral degree in animal and dairy sciences, researching melatonin supplementation to beef cattle during compromised pregnancies. Her current work focuses on examining potential treatments to negate the impact of elevated ambient temperatures in livestock using three-dimensional organoid models. Additionally, she has published six peer-reviewed journal articles and 22 scientific abstracts, and she teaches and mentors undergraduate students in the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences.

“I feel beyond blessed and honored to be the recipient of this award and to be recognized for the effort and sacrifices I made as a Ph.D. student. I would like to give special thanks to Drs. Jane Parish, Caleb Lemley and Brian Rude for the nomination,” she said.

For more on the Department of Animal and Dairy Sciences, visit For more on the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, visit

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