Wood’s 88th minute goal settled an absorbing contest that had seen Tom Adeyemi head Leeds in front only for Chris Martin to equalise with his 50th goal for Derby.
It also completed another memorable visit to the iPro Stadium for head coach Uwe Rosler who had won on his previous two visits with Wigan.
History might have been against Leeds but they started confidently and Wood fired just over from the edge of the box after a four-man passing move.
The game was held up for several minutes when Derby defender Richard Keogh needed treatment for a head injury after he was accidentally caught by a Lewis Cook boot but when play restarted, it was Leeds who looked more threatening with Wood seeing a 20 yard shot deflected behind.
Derby had hardly figured as an attacking force but in the 24th minute, Johnny Russell whipped in a superb cross from the left which Leeds just scrambled away before Martin could pounce.
Martin headed a free kick wide after Keogh, with his forehead bandaged, halted a strong run from Wood and Leeds twice went close with Cook volleying wide from an angle before Wood just failed to connect with a pass from Liam Cooper.
But the visitors got the goal they deserved in the 43rd minute when a short corner was lifted in by Alex Mowatt and Adeymi headed past Scott Carson from eight yards.
It was the fifth game in a row Derby had gone behind and only a great block by Jason Shackell prevented Wood converting Cook’s low cross a minute later.
But Derby had hit back in their previous four Championship games and they were level in the 48th minute when George Thorne played Martin in and the striker turned on the edge of the area to send a left-footed shot past Marco Silvestri.
Derby were transformed from the team that had been so off the pace in the first half and they almost scored again in the 54th minute when Martin set up Jeff Hendrick, but he shot wide from 18 yards.
It was now Leeds who were on the back foot and Silvestri rescued them in the 67th minute with a sharp reaction save to deny Russell before Andreas Weimann, who replaced Thorne, broke clear on the left but his shot was deflected away by Cooper.
But Leeds should have scored in the 77th minute when substitute Mirco Antenucci picked out Wood but he headed wastefully over from six yards to the clear frustration of Uwe Rosler.
But Wood more than made amends two minutes from time when he turned on the edge of the area to send a right foot shot flashing past Carson to seal Leeds’s first win of the campaign.