John Woods graduated magna cum laude in computer science from Virginia Tech in 2007, three weeks after the then-worst mass shooting in U.S. history. He moved to Texas that same month, and by 2013 obtained a Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology from the University of Texas at Austin; there, he also co-founded Texas Gun Sense, a non-profit which seeks to provide non-partisan gun policy analysis for lawmakers and the public at the state level. He now lives in Houston, where he works in the space industry.