In Memory of Dr. Andy Brooks
January 26, 2021
Dear Rutgers–New Brunswick and RBHS faculty and staff,
It is with great sadness that we write to inform you that Dr. Andrew Brooks passed away unexpectedly on Saturday. He was a research professor in Rutgers–New Brunswick’s School of Arts and Sciences in the Department of Genetics, an academic member of the Human Genetics Institute of New Jersey, research faculty in Rutgers’ Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute and a member of its NIEHS Center of Excellence, and a member of the graduate faculty in Rutgers Joint Graduate Program in Toxicology.
Dr. Brooks’ career was distinguished by outstanding scholarship, service to the field of biomedicine, and business activities designed to improve human health. Most notably, in 2020 he led the effort to develop within RUCDR Infinite Biologics, of which he was chief operating officer and director of technology development, the Rutgers COVID-19 diagnostic assay, which received FDA emergency use authorization in March as the first approved saliva diagnostic and, a month later, the first of any test approved for home use. Since then, more than four million of these clinical tests have been performed, undoubtedly saving many lives and providing a practical tool for pandemic control.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Dr. Brooks received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester and went on to become their Director of Medical Center Core Facilities. Four years later, he returned to New Jersey to direct the joint Rutgers/UMDNJ EOHSI Bionomics Research and Technology Center. In 2009, he became Chief Operating Officer and Director of Technology Development of RUCDR Infinite Biologics®, which was privatized last year as Infinity BiologiX, LLC®, becoming its Chief Executive Officer.
Dr. Brooks co-authored more than 70 publications, and he played a key role in providing consultation, biobanking, and analytical services to many large research projects that have yielded important insights into the genomic etiology of human diseases and the effects of environmental exposures. He also served 17 years as an advisor to the Food and Drug Administration, as Director of the Harlan (now Envigo) GeneScreen® Laboratory, and as Co-Founding Director of the BioProcessing Solutions Alliance. He will be remembered fondly by the large cohort of scientists whose research he facilitated.
In his free time, Andy was an accomplished amateur golfer, taught to play by his father. His extraordinary skill, concentration, and friendly competitive spirit led to victory in several international tournaments.
We at Rutgers offer our heartfelt condolences to his family, including his three children, and with them, we take pride in his achievements that will have lasting impact.
Christopher J. Molloy
Chancellor, Rutgers–New Brunswick
Chancellor, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences
S. David Kimball
Senior Vice President of Research