Dr. Woods was born in Louisa, Kentucky. When he was 15, his family moved to an Ohio farm. He received his undergraduate degree in Commerce and Psychology from Ohio University and went to the University of Virginia to obtain his PhD in Psychology. He took a position in Pharmacology at the University of Michigan in the laboratory of Charles Schuster (who was to become the 1990 Eddy Awardee).
Dr. Woods is currently a Professor of Pharmacology and Psychology there. He has conducted research in primates on narcotics, a speciality that was initiated at Michigan by the first Eddy Awardee, Dr. Maurice Seevers, at the instigation of Nathan B. Eddy. The primate facility has been an outstanding training resource for graduate and postgraduate researchers. Dr. Woods received the CPDD Outstanding Mentor Award in 2001. He has served on the Board of Directors of the CPDD, and he currently chairs the Drug Evaluation Committee of the College. Dr. Woods has published over 300 articles on various subjects related to drug abuse, and he has been recognized as a highly cited researcher in Pharmacology by the Institute for Scientific Information.