Professor Woods completed an undergraduate degree (BSc(Hons)) at Monash University, a postgraduate degree at the University of Tasmania (PhD) and has worked as a research scientist in Toronto, Canada, in London, England, and in Edinburgh Scotland.
He has an international research profile having contributed significantly to the field of dendritic cells, specifically in the area of Langerhans cells, cancer and the development of the neonatal skin immune system, the effect of sunlight on the developing skin immune system and the role of vitamin D3. Professor Woods was one of the first in the world to indicate that immature dendritic cells induce suppression.
Since undertaking studies on the Tasmanian devil, major progress has been made in understanding its immune system and how devil facial tumour disease (DFTD) escapes immune recognition. Involvement with the Devil Facial Tumour Disease has created unique opportunities and research programmes and showed for the first time that devils can produce an immune response to DFTD.
Professor Woods' research interests are primarily aimed at how cancer cells escape detection by the immune system. His major research programme is to evaluate the immune system of the Tasmanian devil and to understand how devil facial tumour disease can be transmitted between devils with the ultimate objective to develop strategies to protect devils from this infectious cancer.