BiographyDr. Brooks is also the Associate Chair for Education in the Department of Epidemiology, director of the MPH certificate in Chronic and Non-communicable Diseases, member of the Epidemiology Doctoral Committee, and the instructor for a doctoral-level seminar in issues of study design. Prior to joining the faculty at BUSPH, Dr. Brooks spent more than 10 years at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, first as Research Director for the Occupational Health Surveillance Program and then as Director of the Health Survey Program, where he directed all aspects of the Massachusetts Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS). Dr. Brooks has two primary areas of research focus: (1) He leads an international team of researchers investigating the causes of an epidemic of chronic kidney disease of undetermined etiology (CKDu) in Central America that primarily affects poorer male manual laborers and is responsible for an estimated 20,000 deaths over the past two decades (http://www.bu.edu/sph/research/research-landing-page/research-group-for-the-study-of-chronic-kidney-disease-in-central-america/). The research is informed by a lifecourse approach, focusing on occupational risks, early life exposures, and genetic susceptibility that might potentiate environmental exposures. Suspected environmental factors under investigation include heat stress and dehydration, agrichemicals, infectious agents, metals, and medications with potential for kidney toxicity. Dr. Brooks also is a member of the Executive Board of the Consortium on the Epidemic of Nephropathy in Central America and Mexico (CENCAM), an organization of researchers, clinicians, and public health professionals from more than a dozen countries whose mission is to contribute to knowledge generation and to promote and facilitate activities and policies to reduce CKDu occurrence in the affected countries. (2) A second area of research focuses on increasing cessation among low-income smokers, particularly residents of public housing. Dr. Brooks was principal investigator of a grant from the National Cancer Institute to conduct a group-randomized trial in Boston public housing developments to test whether use of specialized resident community health advocates could increase use of smoking cessation treatments and subsequent quit rates among smokers living in public housing. Results of the study indicated that this may be an effective strategy. Currently, his work in this area focuses particularly on the federal rule mandating smoke-free policies in public housing authorities throughout the country. Ongoing studies include (i) an intervention funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to increase resident support and compliance with a smoke-free policy in a privately managed affordable housing setting and (ii) a study co-funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and American Cancer Society to learn from the experiences of housing authorities that have already voluntarily adopted smoke-free policies in order to assist the large number of authorities who will be adopting policies as a result of the federal rule.
- University of Michigan, BA
- Boston University, MPH
- Boston University, DSc
- Published on 2/17/2017
Riefkohl A, Ramírez-Rubio O, Laws RL, McClean MD, Weiner DE, Kaufman JS, Galloway RL, Shadomy SV, Guerra M, Amador JJ, Sánchez JM, López-Pilarte D, Parikh CR, Leibler JH, Brooks DR. Leptospira seropositivity as a risk factor for Mesoamerican Nephropathy. Int J Occup Environ Health. 2017 Feb 17; 1-10. PMID: 28209095.
- Published on 10/3/2016
Moses E, Wang T, Corbett S, Jackson GR, Drizik E, Perdomo C, Perdomo C, Kleerup E, Brooks D, O'Connor G, Dubinett S, Hayden P, Lenburg ME, Spira A. Molecular Impact of Electronic Cigarette Aerosol Exposure in Human Bronchial Epithelium. Toxicol Sci. 2017 Jan; 155(1):248-257. PMID: 27701119.
- Published on 8/26/2016
Kupferman J, Amador JJ, Lynch KE, Laws RL, López-Pilarte D, Ramírez-Rubio O, Kaufman JS, Lau JL, Weiner DE, Robles NV, Verma KP, Scammell MK, McClean MD, Brooks DR, Friedman DJ. Characterization of Mesoamerican Nephropathy in a Kidney Failure Hotspot in Nicaragua. Am J Kidney Dis. 2016 Nov; 68(5):716-725. PMID: 27575010.
- Published on 8/26/2016
García-Trabanino R, Jakobsson K, Guzmán Quilo C, Brooks DR, Crowe J, Barnoya J, Madero M, González Quiroz M, Wesseling C, Wegman DH, Correa-Rotter R. In reply to: "Should we consider renaming 'Mesoamerican Nephropathy' as Nephropathy of Unknown Cause in Agricultural Labourers (NUCAL)?" Occup Environ Med. 2016 Nov; 73(11):802-803. PMID: 27566784.
- Published on 7/25/2016
Minnings K, Fiore M, Mosco M, Ferguson R, Leatherman S, Kerns E, Kaufman J, Fiore M, Brooks D, Amador JJ, Paulsen H, Ernstberger Z, Trejo B, Sullivan E, Lichtman A, Nobil K, Lawlor M, Parker C, Parekh R, Fiore L. The Rivas Cohort Study: design and baseline characteristics of a Nicaraguan cohort. BMC Nephrol. 2016 Jul 25; 17:93. PMID: 27456863.
- Published on 3/15/2016
Geller AC, Rees VW, Brooks DR. The Proposal for Smoke-Free Public Housing: Benefits, Challenges, and Opportunities for 2 Million Residents. JAMA. 2016 Mar 15; 315(11):1105-6. PMID: 26882206.
- Published on 1/1/2016
Hatch EE, Hahn KA, Wise LA, Mikkelsen EM, Kumar R, Fox MP, Brooks DR, Riis AH, Sorensen HT, Rothman KJ. Evaluation of Selection Bias in an Internet-based Study of Pregnancy Planners. Epidemiology. 2016 Jan; 27(1):98-104. PMID: 26484423.
- Published on 10/9/2015
Laws RL, Brooks DR, Amador JJ, Weiner DE, Kaufman JS, Ramírez-Rubio O, Riefkohl A, Scammell MK, López-Pilarte D, Sánchez JM, Parikh CR, McClean MD. Biomarkers of Kidney Injury Among Nicaraguan Sugarcane Workers. Am J Kidney Dis. 2016 Feb; 67(2):209-17. PMID: 26454687.
- Published on 8/25/2015
Ramírez-Rubio O, Amador JJ, Kaufman JS, Weiner DE, Parikh CR, Khan U, McClean MD, Laws RL, López-Pilarte D, Friedman DJ, Kupferman J, Brooks DR. Urine biomarkers of kidney injury among adolescents in Nicaragua, a region affected by an epidemic of chronic kidney disease of unknown aetiology. Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2016 Mar; 31(3):424-32. PMID: 26311057.
- Published on 1/28/2015
Laws RL, Brooks DR, Amador JJ, Weiner DE, Kaufman JS, Ramírez-Rubio O, Riefkohl A, Scammell MK, López-Pilarte D, Sánchez JM, Parikh CR, McClean MD. Changes in kidney function among Nicaraguan sugarcane workers. Int J Occup Environ Health. 2015 Jul-Sep; 21(3):241-50. PMID: 25631575.
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- Published on February 17, 2016
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