Professor Heywood grew up in Manchester, England and graduated with First Class Honours from London University in 1964. In both his graduate work at London University (1964-1968) and postdoctoral research at Harvard University (1968-1970), he focused on the cell biology of the algae. While at Yale University School of Medicine (1970-1974) and at Brown University (1974 to the present), he extended the scope of his research to include the cell biology of: protozoa, tissue culture cells and sensory cells of the mammalian inner ear.
Professor Heywood's teaching at Brown has spanned a series of courses from introductory plant biology to advanced cell biology. He has been honored with the Senior Class Citation (three times), the Hazeltine Award (twice), the Leduc Award for Teaching Excellence in the Life Sciences, the Sheridan Award for Distinguished Contribution to Teaching and Learning, and the National Science Teachers Association Award for Innovations in College Science Teaching.
He has served Brown on many committees, and has been both a Dean and a Resident Faculty Fellow. He successfully proposed major changes to the academic calendar which were adopted in 1983.
Professor Heywood values academic advising and is both a concentration advisor and first year student advisor.