BiographyDr. Brooks is also a 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 co-chair 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.
- Associate Chair for Education, Boston University School of Public Health
- Member, BU-BMC Cancer Center, Boston University
- Member, Evans Center for Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research, Boston University
- Member, Genome Science Institute, Boston University
- Boston University, DSc
- Boston University, MPH
- University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, BA
- Published on 7/22/2020
Scammell MK, Sennett C, Laws RL, Rubin RL, Brooks DR, Amador JJ, López-Pilarte D, Ramirez-Rubio O, Friedman DJ, McClean MD, Cohort Study Team NB, Lewis J, Erdei E. Urinary Metals Concentrations and Biomarkers of Autoimmunity among Navajo and Nicaraguan Men. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 07 22; 17(15). PMID: 32707746.
- Published on 6/5/2020
Leibler JH, Ramirez-Rubio O, Velázquez JJA, Pilarte DL, Obeid W, Parikh CR, Gadupudi S, Scammell MK, Friedman DJ, Brooks DR. Biomarkers of kidney injury among children in a high-risk region for chronic kidney disease of uncertain etiology. Pediatr Nephrol. 2020 Jun 05. PMID: 32504218.
- Published on 5/29/2020
Ferguson R, Leatherman S, Fiore M, Minnings K, Mosco M, Kaufman J, Kerns E, Amador JJ, Brooks DR, Fiore M, Parekh RS, Fiore L. Prevalence and Risk Factors for CKD in the General Population of Southwestern Nicaragua. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2020 Jul; 31(7):1585-1593. PMID: 32471819.
- Published on 12/11/2019
Yih WK, Kulldorff M, Leibler JH, Friedman DJ, Brooks DR. Comment on Sarathkumara et al.: Exposure to Hantavirus is a Risk Factor Associated with Kidney Diseases in Sri Lanka: A Cross Sectional Study. Viruses. 2019 12 11; 11(12). PMID: 31835714.
- Published on 9/19/2019
Harlow AF, Stokes A, Brooks DR. Socioeconomic and Racial/Ethnic Differences in E-Cigarette Uptake Among Cigarette Smokers: Longitudinal Analysis of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study. Nicotine Tob Res. 2019 09 19; 21(10):1385-1393. PMID: 29986109.
- Published on 9/1/2019
Yih WK, Kulldorff M, Friedman DJ, Leibler JH, Amador JJ, López-Pilarte D, Galloway RL, Ramírez-Rubio O, Riefkohl A, Brooks DR. Investigating Possible Infectious Causes of Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology in a Nicaraguan Mining Community. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2019 09; 101(3):676-683. PMID: 31309920.
- Published on 6/22/2019
Corbett SE, Nitzberg M, Moses E, Kleerup E, Wang T, Perdomo C, Perdomo C, Liu G, Xiao X, Liu H, Elashoff DA, Brooks DR, O'Connor GT, Dubinett SM, Spira A, Lenburg ME. Gene Expression Alterations in the Bronchial Epithelium of e-Cigarette Users. Chest. 2019 10; 156(4):764-773. PMID: 31233743.
- Published on 5/6/2019
Hijazi K, Malyszko B, Steiling K, Xiao X, Liu G, Alekseyev YO, Dumas YM, Hertsgaard L, Jensen J, Hatsukami D, Brooks DR, O'Connor G, Beane J, Lenburg ME, Spira A. Tobacco-Related Alterations in Airway Gene Expression are Rapidly Reversed Within Weeks Following Smoking-Cessation. Sci Rep. 2019 05 06; 9(1):6978. PMID: 31061400.
- Published on 2/27/2019
Gallo-Ruiz L, Sennett CM, Sánchez-Delgado M, García-Urbina A, Gámez-Altamirano T, Basra K, Laws RL, Amador JJ, Lopez-Pilarte D, Tripodis Y, Brooks DR, McClean MD, Kupferman J, Friedman D, Aragón A, González-Quiroz M, Scammell MK. Prevalence and Risk Factors for CKD Among Brickmaking Workers in La Paz Centro, Nicaragua. Am J Kidney Dis. 2019 08; 74(2):239-247. PMID: 30826087.
- Published on 11/15/2018
Brooks DR, Burtner JL, Borrelli B, Heeren TC, Evans T, Davine JA, Greenbaum J, Scarpaci M, Kane J, Rees VW, Geller AC. Twelve-Month Outcomes of a Group-Randomized Community Health Advocate-Led Smoking Cessation Intervention in Public Housing. Nicotine Tob Res. 2018 11 15; 20(12):1434-1441. PMID: 29145626.
View 101 more publications:View full profile at BUMC
News & In the Media
- Published on February 28, 2020
- Published on March 18, 2019
- Published on March 15, 2019
- Published on March 14, 2019
- Published on August 3, 2018
- Published on July 3, 2017
- Published on February 17, 2016
- Published on November 4, 2015
- Published on October 7, 2015
- Published on September 17, 2015