Daniel Brooks

Daniel R. Brooks, DSc

Associate Professor, Epidemiology - Boston University School of Public Health


Dr. Brooks' current primary area of research focuses on the causes of an epidemic of chronic kidney disease of undetermined etiology (CKDu) that primarily affects poorer male manual laborers in Central America and other regions. Since 2009, he has led an international team of researchers with most of the work conducted in Nicaragua (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 and early life exposures, as well as 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 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.

Dr. Brooks also chairs the Anti-Racism Committee of the Epidemiology Department and is a member of the Research Committee of the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH). He was previously a member of the Epidemiology Doctoral Committee and the instructor for a doctoral-level seminar on issues of study design, for which he received several teaching awards. 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).

Other Positions

  • 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 Field of Study: Epidemiology
  • Boston University, MPH Field of Study: Epidemiology
  • University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, BA Field of Study: American Studies



  • Published on 5/19/2021

    Petropoulos ZE, Ramirez-Rubio O, Scammell MK, Laws RL, Lopez-Pilarte D, Amador JJ, Ballester J, O'Callaghan-Gordo C, Brooks DR. Climate Trends at a Hotspot of Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Causes in Nicaragua, 1973-2014. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 05 19; 18(10). PMID: 34069421.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 5/18/2021

    Stallings TL, Riefkohl Lisci A, McCray NL, Weiner DE, Kaufman JS, Aschengrau A, Ma Y, LaValley MP, Ramírez-Rubio O, Jose Amador J, López-Pilarte D, Laws RL, Winter M, McSorley VE, Brooks DR, Applebaum KM. Dysuria, heat stress, and muscle injury among Nicaraguan sugarcane workers at risk for Mesoamerican nephropathy. Scand J Work Environ Health. 2021 Jul 01; 47(5):377-386. PMID: 34003295.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 2/20/2021

    Brennan AT, Getz KD, Brooks DR, Fox MP. An underappreciated misclassification mechanism: implications of nondifferential dependent misclassification of covariate and exposure. Ann Epidemiol. 2021 06; 58:104-123. PMID: 33621629.

    Read At: PubMed
  • Published on 11/15/2020

    Crowe JL, Joubert BR, Brooks DR (Eds.). Report From the Third International Workshop on Chronic Kidney Diseases of Uncertain/Non-Traditional Etiology in Mesoamerica and Other Regions. SALTRA. San José, Costa Rica. 2020.

  • Published on 11/15/2020

    Friedman DJ, Cardenas, A, Fischer R, Franceschini N, Brooks DR. Molecular approaches to CKDu: genetics, epigenetics, and infectious disease. Crowe JL, Joubert BR, Brooks DR (Eds.). Report From the Third International Workshop on Chronic Kidney Diseases of Uncertain/Non-Traditional Etiology in Mesoamerica and Other Regions. San José, Costa Rica: SALTRA. 2020; 58-62.

  • Published on 10/1/2020

    Petropoulos ZE, Laws RL, Amador JJ, López-Pilarte D, Kaufman JS, Weiner DE, Ramirez-Rubio O, Brooks DR, McClean MD, Scammell MK. Kidney Function, Self-Reported Symptoms, and Urine Findings in Nicaraguan Sugarcane Workers. Kidney 360. 2020.

  • 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.

    Read At: PubMed
  • 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. 2021 02; 36(2):387-396. PMID: 32504218.

    Read At: PubMed
  • 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 07; 31(7):1585-1593. PMID: 32471819.

    Read At: PubMed
  • 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.

    Read At: PubMed

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