Posted May 19, 2022
Featuring Ángel Abuelo
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Ángel Abuelo, DVM, MRes, PhD, MSc, DABVP, DECBHM, FHEA MRCVS, winner of the 2022 Cargill Animal Nutrition Young Scientist Award

Dr. Ángel Abuelo, assistant professor in cattle health and wellbeing at the Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine, has been awarded the 2022 Cargill Animal Nutrition Young Scientist Award by the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA). This award recognizes outstanding research by young dairy production scientists conducted during the first 10 years of their professional careers.

“Dr. Abuelo’s research impacts dairy science, medicine, and care, which enables producers and veterinarians to implement positive changes in animal welfare, production quality, and sustainable dairy production. Dr. Abuelo's work is a wonderful exemplar of the CVM land-grant mission. We’re incredibly proud, not only of his accomplishments, but of the difference he has made in the lives of animals and people,” says Dr. Annette O’Connor, chair for the Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at the College.

Abuelo’s research focuses on strategies to enhance immunity during the neonatal and periparturient periods of dairy cattle. He is internationally recognized for his work on oxidative stress in cattle and calves. Abuelo’s research group currently focuses on practical strategies to improve redox status in cattle to improve host resilience during stages of increased disease risk.

"I’m beyond honored to receive this recognition from ADSA. The list of previous recipients includes outstanding researchers and several of my role models, and I'm very proud that my name is now included in this group. Similarly, being selected among the many promising young dairy researchers of North America is a great recognition for the work my laboratory does to advance dairy cattle health," says Abuelo.

Further demonstrating his versatility as a veterinary scientist, Abuelo is also exploring strategies to improve vaccination protocols and responsiveness to dairy cattle's endemic and emergent pathogens. At MSU, he maintains federally funded research and extension programs, for which he secured more than $4.3 million as the principal investigator (PI) or co-PI. These include the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA), the Michigan Alliance for Animal Agriculture, foundations, and contracts with industry.

Abuelo has published 49 peer-reviewed articles and delivered 25 invited presentations across 12 countries. He also is an avid peer-reviewer, and serves as editorial board member for 6 international journals (including Journal of Dairy Science and JDS Communications) and The Merck Veterinary Manual. Abuelo also has been active in service to the profession through participation in key committees of veterinary specialty boards and professional associations such as ADSA, the American Association of Veterinary Immunologists, and the American and Michigan Veterinary Medical Associations.

Abuelo also is dedicated to student education. He has served as primary mentor for 6 graduate student programs, 1 postdoc, and 2 visiting scholars, and has advised the research experience of 13 veterinary students. He is the faculty advisor to the MSU student chapter of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners, the director of the MSU Summer Food Systems Fellowship Program, and teaches an advanced dairy production medicine clinical rotation to final-year veterinary students. Abuelo also coordinates a USDA-NIFA-funded, 2-year training program for early-career bovine veterinarians with collaborators from MSU, Cornell University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2014, Abuelo received the Sir Kenneth Blaxter Award from the British Society for Animal Science.

Abuelo grew up in a family with strong ties to the dairy industry. He obtained his veterinary (2010), MRes (2011), and PhD (2015) degrees with honors from the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain) and an MS in Veterinary Education (2015) from the Royal Veterinary College, University of London (UK). He is a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners (Dairy Practice Specialty) and the European College of Bovine Health Management, as well as an associate diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine (Large Animal). Abuelo has been an assistant professor of cattle health and the dairy extension veterinarian at MSU since December 2017, which followed his appointment as a senior lecturer at Charles Sturt University (Australia) from July 2015 to December 2017.

See ADSA's press release about Dr. Abuelo's award.