Robin Wood was educated at King Edward VI school, Birmingham UK, and received a BSC (hons) in Biophysics from University of London in 1970 and a BM BCh from Balliol College, Oxford University in 1974. He completed various UK training posts and worked as a medical officer in Peru, Afghanistan and Zambia before completing a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene at Liverpool University in 1984.
He began his specialist medical training at Groote Schuur Hospital at the University of Cape Town in 1986 and qualified with an M.Med and Fellowship of the South African College of Physicians in 1990. He completed a fellowship in Infectious diseases at Stanford University, California, returning to South Africa in 1993 as a lecturer in the UCT Department of Medicine. He became an ad hominem associate professor in 2000, a full professor in 2005 and was elected as a Fellow of University in 2010. As head of the first HIV clinic in Cape Town, he pioneered HIV and AIDS treatment strategies in the South African public, private and industrial health systems. He was awarded the Special Medicine Service Award of the South African Medical Association in 2008, and a lifetime achievement award by the Treatment Action Campaign in 2010.
He has served on many international scientific advisory boards relating to his work on HIV and TB: including the United States Presidents Emergency Program for AIDS Relief, the World Health Organization, the International AIDS Society, the International Partnership for Microbicides, AERAS TB Vaccine initiative, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Professor Wood is a member of the UCT Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, where he is principal investigator of the Cape Town Clinical Trials Unit, site leader for the Desmond Tutu HIV Clinical Research Site and principal investigator leading a scientific research group of the Medical Research Council/University of Cape Town flagship programme investigating the aerobiology of tuberculosis transmission.
He has been principal investigator for more than 80 studies, has written 14 book chapters and published more than 400 highly cited scientific peer-reviewed papers. In 2012 Robin Wood was awarded the Doctoral of Sciences degree from the University of Cape Town. He was evaluated by the National Research Foundation (NRF) as an A-rated researcher in 2013 and in 2014, he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society (SA) and awarded an honorary professorship at the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.