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An internationally recognized scholar and scientist, Professor David Woods was appointed as Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa in May 1996. He assumed this position after six years on the faculty of the University of Cape Town and 12 years of distinguished teaching and research responsibilities at Rhodes, from which he earned the Bachelor of Science degree in 1961 and the Bachelor of Science (Honors) degree in 1962. Dr. Woods was a Rhodes Scholar at University College, Oxford University, where he received the Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1966. He taught at Queen Mary College, London University, for a year before returning to teach at his undergraduate alma mater. He was a research fellow at the Institut Pasteur in Paris in 1973-1974 and had a similar position at Trondheim University, Norway, the following year.

Professor Woods has lectured at universities throughout the world, authored or co-authored over two hundred articles for national and international scholarly and scientific publications, and has participated in scores of national and international congresses of scientific societies at which he presented special papers on biochemistry, genetics, and microbiology.