David R Woods was educated at Cordwalles (1948-53) and Michaelhouse (1954-58). He obtained the BSc Hons Degree at Rhodes University in 1962. As a Natal Rhodes Scholar he went to University College, Oxford University in 1963 and obtained the D. Phil Degree in 1966. In 1967, he returned to Rhodes and was appointed Professor and Head of the Department of Microbiology in 1972. In 1980 he moved to the University of Cape Town as Professor and Head of the Department of Microbiology and Director of the Microbial Genetics and Industrial Microbiology Research Unit and became an NRF A-rated scientist in 1984, a Fellow in 1985, Distinguished Teacher in 1987, and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) in 1988. He held the R.F. Cherry Chair for Distinguished Teaching at Baylor University, USA, from 1992-3. He was appointed in 1996 as Vice-Chancellor of Rhodes University and retired in 2006.
In addition to his more than 200 research papers and 40 Ph.D. graduates, Dr Woods edited ‘The Clostridia and Biotechnology’, holds Gold Medals of the SAf Microbiology Society and the SA Society for the Advancement of Science, the John F.W. Herschel Medal for Outstanding Research of the RSSAf, and the Claude Harris Leon Foundation Award for Distinguished Research. He was a Research Fellow at the Institute Pasteur, Paris (1973-74) and a Royal Norwegian CSIR Post-Doctoral Fellow, Trondheim (1974-1975). He was Chairman of the Bacteriology and Applied Microbiology Division of the International Union of Microbiological Sciences 1995-99, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and a Fellow of both the Royal Society of SA and the SA Academy of Science. He was on the editorial boards of the Journal of Bacteriology and Anaerobe Microbiology. He served on the Boards of the CSIR, MRC, and NRF and was a founder member and chair of SAGENE and a member of COGENE.
He has acted as a consultant for Goodyear, USA; DuPont, USA; Sentrachem and Anglo American. In 2004 he became a Trustee of the Claude Harris Leon Foundation. In 2005, he was elected as Chair of the South Africa - Netherlands Research Programme for Alternatives in Development (SANPAD) and Chairs SANTRUST which has fiduciary responsibility for the SANPAD projects and the SANPAD office. He is the Coordinator of the International Advisory Committee for the South African Malaria Initiative (SAMI). In 2003, he was awarded the Degree of Doctor of Civil Law, honoris causa, by Oxford University and in 2007 he was awarded the Degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, by Rhodes University.
We welcome Dr. Woods as an Advisory Board member of Academic Baby Boomers Association, and look forward to his contribution in establishing ABBA as a vital part of the South African Higher Education landscape.