Boyd served as a medic in the U.S. Army from 1964 to 1966 and obtained his M.S. in Chemistry at the University of Idaho and Ph.D. in Chemistry / Biochemistry at Washington State University in 1971. Additionally he was an NIH Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Physiology, Yale University Medical School from 1971 to 1974.
From 1996 to 2005 he was Chair and Professor of Chemistry / Biochemistry in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Kentucky. Over the last two decades Boyd has lectured throughout the world and testified before Congressional oversight committees and the Institute of Medicine regarding various aspects of mercury toxicity and neurological diseases.