Andrew Brooks, a research professor at Rutgers University who led the development of the first FDA-approved Covid-19 saliva test, died suddenly on January 23.
His sister, Janet Green, confirmed to CNN on Sunday that the cause of death was a heart attack. She called him “an intellect, an amazing scientist, an amazing father … an amazing family man.”
Brooks, 51, was the chief operating officer and director of technology development at RUCDR Infinite Biologics, the lab that developed the saliva test. The test, which was approved in April 2020, was authorized for at-home use a month later.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy referred to Brooks as “one of our state’s unsung heroes” in a January 25 news conference, saying his work “undoubtedly saved lives.”
“We cannot thank Andy enough for all he did across his career,” Murphy said. “He will be sorely missed by many.”