August 4th 2020
Dr. Philip John (P.J.) Brooks has been elected as new Chair of the Interdisciplinary Scientific Committee (ISC).
Dr. Brooks is a Program Director in the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) Office of Rare Diseases Research (ORDR). Dr. Brooks received his Ph.D. in neurobiology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the Rockefeller University, Dr. Brooks became an investigator in the NIH intramural program. He developed an internationally recognized research program focused on rare neurologic diseases resulting from defective DNA repair, including xeroderma pigmentosum, Cockayne syndrome and Fanconi anemia.
Since joining NCATS and ORDR, Dr. Brooks is interested in accelerating clinical trials in rare diseases by moving beyond “one disease at a time” approaches. Examples include the development of therapeutics that target shared molecular mechanisms underlying multiple rare diseases, platform technologies for the delivery of nucleic acid therapeutics, and the implementation of recommendations regarding the acceleration of gene therapy clinical trials.
He is also the coordinator of the NIH Common Fund’s Somatic Cell Genome Editing (SCGE) program.
Dr. Brooks election as ISC Chair is going to strongly impact IRDiRC efforts on rare disease research to achieve the 2027 IRDiRC goals. One of his first tasks will be to lead the implementation of a Task Force addressing patient access to rare disease clinical trials by focusing on shared molecular etiologies underlying multiple rare diseases.