Alejandra Rodriguez

University of the Republic, Uruguay
There is a need in our countries to leverage our culture, commerce and economies through knowledge. What better approach than using mass spectrometry to understand the unique chemistry of all things? After obtaining her Ph.D. at the University of Florida with Rick Yost, Alejandra went on to establish a mass spectrometry laboratory (BioMS group) in Uruguay, with focus on projects in collaboration with industry. The laboratory is at the Polo Tecnológico de Pando, a new venture of Facultad de Química, Universidad de la República, with the mission of building the gap between academia and industry. Since 2009, the BioMS group introduced new MS methods for doping control, studied the chemical profile of Uruguayan propolis, helped analyze the most unusual samples, and worked towards a new perspective for the use of mass spectrometry and the role of an analytical chemistry laboratory for local industry. As the number of researchers in the field grows in this southern country, Alejandra is helping create a network of mass spectrometrists and forming a budding Uruguayan Mass Spectrometry Society.