Rosa Roa, analyst in molecular biology at Viña Concha y Toro's Center for Research and Innovation (CRI):

“As a Molecular Biology Laboratory we are developing important advances in diagnostic techniques”

The agronomist explains how advances in science benefit the development of the wine industry and the need for the presence of women in leadership circles, because "the diversity of a human group enriches decision-making".


Rosa Roa, an agronomist and doctor of sciences with a major in plant genetic engineering, is emphatic in pointing out that the development of a scientific career in most cases is not a specific decision. For her it is something more: the result of many events, such as the environment in which she grows up and the relationship with nature. That was the scenario in which she made the decision to study agronomy and dedicate herself to science. Rosa experienced it as a natural process, a new logical stage in her life experience, since she spent much of her childhood in the field, which awoke the taste for nature and the desire to understand how things happened.


How has it been working in the CRI and specializing in the wine industry?

For many years I worked linked to the world of wine, but from the academy in fundamental science. That time allowed me to develop characteristics that are vital when it comes to research. However, getting to the CRI involved giving a return to the way of seeing things, here everything has a specific purpose and a time for it. On the other hand, important growth instances are generated by maintaining connection with other work groups within the same Center for Research, which is ultimately positive for the development of the projects themselves.


How do you see the progress of molecular biology tools applied to agriculture?

Molecular biology has not had an immediate impact on agriculture as it has been in the health area. However, recent years have shown significant growth in both research and commercial applications.

As a Molecular Biology Laboratory, we are developing important advances in diagnostic techniques. This has allowed us to know with a high level of precision the phytosanitary status of some vineyards. We are convinced that collaborative work with the agricultural world and with other areas of science is a key factor in the development of new applications in molecular biology and the success they may have.


What does it mean for you to work in an area traditionally lead by men?

For me it was never an issue to be a woman and work in this area. I never felt that I was treated differently or that I could not do things because I am a woman. The world of science is full of women, we are many who dedicate ourselves to this work in different levels. The problem is that it is an area that is led by men, and this produces not only a gender problem, but also a problem of options. The diversity of a human group enriches the decision making and the way of approaching the problems, so the presence of women in these circles is, without a doubt, a necessary factor.