Dr Woodruff is an NHMRC R.D. Wright Fellow (CDF 2) and Associate Professor of Pharmacology who leads a research team aiming to find new theraeuptic treatments for neurodegenerative disease. Current therapies for these diseases are vastly inadequate, and so new research is needed to identify novel targets to slow or halt their progression. Dr Woodruff's specific research revolves around the innate immune system in the brain, and the role of neuroinflammation in propogating disease. A key focus of his current work is testing new drugs developed at the University of Queensland in models of Parkinson's disease, motor neuron disease (MND; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and Huntington's disease, as well as maintaining an active interest in acute inflammatory disorders. Using a series of potent and orally active complement C5a and NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors developed at UQ, Dr Woodruff's team has shown the therapeutic potential of targeting innate immune-mediated neuroinflammation to reduce neuronal cell death in animal models of these neurodegenerative diseases. In 2010, Dr Woodruff started his own group and independent laboratory in the School of Biomedical Sciences, UQ. His team has recently shown that in addition to its roles in neurodegeneration, innate immune factors also play essential roles in stem and neuronal cell development during embryogenesis, revealing the widespread physiological and pathological roles of this evolutionarily ancient immune system.