OBITUARY

Andrew Ira Brooks

February 10, 1969January 23, 2021

On Saturday, January 23, Andrew Ira Brooks (“Andy” to everyone) became ill suddenly and died near his Manhattan, New York home. He was 51 years of age, born and raised in New Jersey. Andy received his Ph.D. degree in Neuroscience from the University of Rochester and became 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 with an appointment as Research Professor in the Rutgers University Department of Genetics. In 2009 he became Chief Operating Officer and Director of Technology Development of RUCDR, Infinite Biologics®, a Rutgers public/private partnership. His career is distinguished by his scholarship, service to the field of biomedicine and business activities designed to improve human health. Dr. Brooks co-authored over 70 publications, several with over 1000 citations in the literature. Moreover, 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 will be remembered by the large cohort of scientists whose research he facilitated through many formal arrangements. Notably, in early 2020, Dr. Brooks led the effort within RUCDR to develop the Rutgers COVID-19 diagnostic assay. It received FDA Emergency Use Authorization in March 2020 as the first approved saliva diagnostic and, a month later, the first of any test approved for home use. Starting in March 2020 and continuing today, RUCDR (now IBX) has performed over four million clinical tests, undoubtedly saving many lives, and providing a practical tool for pandemic control.

Dr. Brooks 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. In June 2020 he led the effort to privatize RUCDR Infinite Biologics, founding Infinity BiologiX, LLC® (IBX) and becoming Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientific Officer. As a leader in biomaterials, IBX employs over 500 staff across multiple sites to provide support to the development of diagnostics, therapeutics and research for genomics, precision medicine and regenerative medicine. Andy loved golf, playing with his father as a youth, in college and throughout adulthood. He was an extraordinarily accomplished amateur, winning international tournaments with his skill, concentration, and friendly competitive spirit. He is survived by his mother, Mrs. Phyllis Brooks, his sister, Janet Green, his children Lauren, Hannah and Danielle, and by his wife, Jil Brooks.

Written by Jay A. Tischfield, colleague and friend.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that memorial donations be made to the Rutgers University Foundation in support of the Dr. Andrew Brooks Memorial Scholarship. Please send your donation to PO Box 193, New Brunswick, NJ 08903-0193. Gifts can also be made online at http://give.rutgers.edu/BrooksScholarship.

The Brooks family is overwhelmed by the outpouring of sympathy and by everyone who wishes to pay their respects. However, sadly, due to covid-19 gathering and distancing restrictions, the funeral services and burial will be by invitation only. Everyone is more than welcome to view the live stream of the service via Zoom info for the funeral on Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 1:00 P.M.:

https://zoom.us/j/5509992020 Meeting ID: 550-999-2020 Password: 309875

SHIVA INFORMATION The following are the times of shiva visits on Temple Beth Ahm's Zoom room:

Friday, Jan. 29 Shiva visits from 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Saturday night, Jan. 30 Shiva visits from 8:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Sunday, Jan. 31 Shiva visits from 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Monday, Feb. 1 Shive visits from 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm

Tuesday, Feb. 2 Shiva visits from 8:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Zoom link for all shiva visiting hours: https://zoom.us/j/5509992020 Meeting ID: 550-999-2020 Password: 309875

  • FAMILY

  • Jil Brooks, Wife
  • Phyllis Brooks, Mother
  • Perry Brooks, Father (deceased)
  • Lauren Brooks, Daughter
  • Hannah Brooks, Daughter
  • Danielle Brooks, Daughter
  • Janet (Ted) Green, Sister
  • Gavin Green, Nephew
  • Paige Green, Niece

Services

PREVIOUS SERVICES:

  • Funeral Services (By invitation only please) Live Stream https://zoom.us/j/5509992020 Meeting ID: 550-999-2020 Password: 309875

    Thursday, January 28, 2021

OTHER SERVICES:

  • Virtual Shiva

Memories

Andrew Ira Brooks

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Andrew Sussman

February 15, 2021

Andrew and I lived in the same dorm from 1988-1989. As mentioned by someone else, clearly the only person on campus with trained doves in his room. You could tell back then that Andrew was going to achieve great things. Last I saw him was in Rochester when I was practicing law in Pittsburgh and moving up to Syracuse. I met with him one trip on my way up. And he was the same as when I first met him for the first time on floor one of "UHall 1". Sincerest condolences to his family.

florian menninger

February 12, 2021

As a sales rep, I was touched by Andrew's professionalism and kindness as I sold lab equipment products to his expanding lab while at URMC. He used to tell me how good he was at golf as his only spare time was on the links. This could had been an additional reason why he took the position at Rutgers. He could see the golf course right outside his office window. Andrew was a relentless, hard working researcher with a great attitude and was always respectful. RIP Andrew as you will be missed and my condolences to the family and relatives.

Georgette Chinitz

February 2, 2021

Without Dr Brooks fabulous discovery my grandson would not be able to get Covid tested! The spit test saved him from anguish as he has autism
So grateful and so sorry and sad about his untimely passing
Baruch Dayan Emet

Jennifer Ohayon

February 1, 2021

I cannot think of a scientist that I admired more than Andy Brooks. Unfortunately, I never directly work with Andy; however, I always envisioned such an opportunity in our future. So, I feel truly blessed for the collaborations and interactions in which we did share. Andy was a change-agent extraordinaire, never being satisfied with the status quo in the laboratory sciences and diagnostics. His memory will be a reminder to many scientists and laboratorians to be brave in our work and lives. May the many wonderful memories of Andy comfort his mother and family's souls.
Jennifer Ohayon

Marcia Delanty

February 1, 2021

My deepest sympathy to Andy's family and friends. I knew Andy at Cornell. He was the only person I knew that had a dove in his dorm room. All of my memories of him are joyful and sweet and I am grateful to have known him. May his memory be a blessing.

Beth Noble Tykodi

February 1, 2021

I met Andy back in the 80's during my undergraduate studies at Cornell. He was a funny, kind person who made us laugh and entertained us with magic tricks. His life after Cornell was clearly filled with amazing achievements. I am so saddened to hear of his passing. My condolences to his family and friends.

David Hartford

January 31, 2021

I did not know him, but I feel a terrible sense of loss. We should all bless Andy for the work he has done.
My condolences to his family.

Matt Fleischer-Black

January 30, 2021

I am so sad to hear of Andrew’s passing, and astonished. I recall his warmth and energy throughout our childhood together. Sitting next to him in Hebrew school carpool while he practiced his magic show patter into my ear, insisting I watch him practice close-up card tricks, playing stupid padless tackle football across from his house, or otherwise running around Lakeridge, Beth Ahm and Cedar Ridge, he brought plenty of joy, smiles and mischief. I hadn’t spoken to him since Rochester, sadly, but am very glad that he was doing excellent science, contributing his ingenuity and energy for others and his communities. Memories of him are a blessing and window into what life offers. Such a painful loss. May his memory continue to comfort his mom, all his family and the rest of us who knew him.

Shari Spitzer (Abelman)

January 29, 2021

My mom and Andrew's dad Perry dated each other when they were in high school. The Brooks family moved to the next town and also joined Temple Beth Ahm so our parents reconnected. I have fond childhood memories of spending time with Andrew and his sister Janet as their family's home in Old Bridge, New Jersey. Andrew was such a nice boy. He was very kind, really smart and adorable. Andrew was one month older than me. We played together when we were about 7 or 8 years old. Andrew and I went to hebrew school together at Temple Beth Ahm. All the kids really liked him. I hadn't seen Andrew since we were about 14. Our families lost touch over the years. I had heard that Andrew went into medicine. I read a few months ago about the saliva test for Covid 19 at Rutgers but didn't connected Andrew to the development. When I read online in the Patch that he had suddenly passed away my heart sank, It's always so sad when a childhood friend passes away. My heart goes out to his mom Phyllis, sister Janet and his wife and daughters. May the beautiful memories you shared over the years bring you peace during your grief.

Laurie Kaiden

January 29, 2021

On behalf of Maine Camp Experience, I'd like to extend our deepest condolences on Andy's passing. Dr. Brooks provided counsel to our community of 30+ Maine overnight camps leading up to summer 2020 and again in fall 2020 for 2021. We were fortunate to have his time, insights, confidence, and expertise to help educate our camps. He was a tremendous asset to us all in the fight against Covid-19. We are thankful to have known Dr. Brooks and very sad and sorry to lose this smart, dedicated, thoughtful, passionate visionary. May his memory be for a blessing.