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Andrew Brooks Dies

Andrew Brooks, a professor at Rutgers University who was a key figure in the development of saliva-based tests for SARS-CoV-2, has died, People reports. He was 51.

In his role as COO and director of technology development at RUCDR Infinite Biologics, Brooks led the SARS-CoV-2 saliva-based test development effort, Rutgers adds. The test was the first saliva-based test for SARS-CoV-2 to receive an Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration, in April 2020. Rutgers notes the test was later authorized for home use. "The impact of this approval is significant," Brooks said in a statement at the time of the test's initial authorization. "It means we no longer have to put healthcare professionals at risk for infection by performing nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal collections."

According to Rutgers, Brooks died unexpectedly last Saturday. In a tweet, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, a Democrat, writes that he was "deeply saddened" by learning of Brooks' death. "We cannot thank Andy enough for all he did across his career," Murphy adds.