After obtaining a PhD in Biology in Madrid, Dr Ángeles Rodríguez Peña began her career in science, obtaining a postdoctoral fellowship from the European Molecular Biology Organisation to join what is now Cancer Research UK in London, where she spent five years as an Associate Scientist. Later returning to Spain, she established her own research group at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), at the same time working as a visiting scientist in the US and Sweden. In recognition of her expertise, from 2002-2004 she was a seconded national expert at DG Research, European Commission.

From 2002, Peña served as Deputy Head of International Affairs at CSIC, which involved work in international relations and European policy – including the Framework Programme. Five years later, she was made Deputy Director General for European Programmes at the former Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, as well as Spanish representative of the COST Committee of Senior Officials (CSO).

Just three years later Peña was elected President of the COST CSO, and President of the COST Association itself in September last year. In addition to her work at COST, Peña is also Senior Scientist at CSIC, Special Advisor to the Secretary of State for Research and Innovation in Spain, and an elected member of the Academia European.