Robert Woods

Distinguished Research Professor 2024

Photograph of robert woods

Robert J. Woods, professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, has received international recognition for his innovative research in glycoscience—the chemical biology and biomedical impact of complex carbohydrates (glycans) covering surfaces of cells and viruses. His work is transformational, applying expertise in molecular structures and computational modeling to understand glycan structure and function. By integrating experimental data with molecular dynamics calculations, Woods has illustrated that the space occupied by glycans in both the HIV envelope protein and SARS-CoV-2 spike protein modulates immune recognition and can help guide vaccine design. He developed a web environment for building complex glycans that allows users to computationally explore the molecular dynamics of glycans and their interactions with other biomolecules. Woods launched the company, Lectenz Bio, funded by National Institutes of Health grants and contracts, to produce reagents and platforms for the glycoscience community, and recently founded Oak House, Athens’ first distillery.