Dr. Woodruff graduated from Upstate Medical Center in 1980 after which he completed two years of training in general surgery.  He then worked in African mission hospitals for a year and local Pittsburgh emergency departments for two years before enrolling in the Masters in Public Health program at Johns Hopkins University. In 1986 he entered the Epidemic Intelligence Service program at the Centers for Disease Control.  During his first 9 years at CDC from 1987-1996, Dr. Woodruff worked in the fields of bacterial enteric diseases and viral hepatitis, taking time from his regular job to travel to refugee emergencies when needed.
From 1996-2003, he did this work full-time as a staff member of CDC’s International Emergency and Refugee Health Branch and served as Branch Chief for part of this time. From 2003 to 2007, he moved to the International Micronutrient Malnutrition Prevention and Control group at CDC where he provided technical supervision to the staff of micronutrient specialists. Since retirement in 2007, he has served as a consultant to United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations, providing technical assistance in large nationwide nutrition assessment surveys, program evaluations, and research studies.