New Jersey Man Who Developed COVID-19 Rapid Saliva Test Dead at 51

HAZLET, NJ – Dr. Andrew Brooks, 51,  the man who led the research for the creation of the nation’s first COVID-19 rapid saliva-based test has died.

Dr. Andrew Brooks. Born and raised in New Jersey, Dr. Brooks was a Rutgers University Research Professor in the department of genetics and for the past decade, he served as Chief Operating Officer and Director of Technology Development of RUCDR Infinite Biologics.

“Now, you may remember that name. Why?” said Governor Phil Murphy on Monday regarding his passing. “Because last year, in the frenetic early days of the pandemic, he led the development of the Rutgers COVID-19 diagnostic assay, the so-called spit or saliva test, which was one of the first rapid response tests to be put into use anywhere in the country and which has undoubtedly saved lives.”

Across his career, he coauthored more than 70 scientific papers and garnered more than 1,000 citations in scientific literature.

He served as an advisor to the Food and Drug Administration and helped guide the work of multiple research laboratories.

Dr. Brooks is survived by his mom Phyllis, by his wife Jill and his three daughters Lauren, Hannah and Danielle, and by his sister Janet.

The cause of Brook’s death was not made public.