Baylor Environmental Health Science Professor Wins International Environmental Award

March 21, 2019
Bryan Brooks

Bryan W. Brooks, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Environmental Science and Biomedical Studies in Baylor's College of Arts & Sciences.

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WACO, Texas (March 20, 2019) – Bryan W. Brooks, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Environmental Science and Biomedical Studies in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences, received international recognition for his contributions and scholarly research on environmental sustainability.

Recipharm, a contract development and manufacturing organization in the pharmaceutical industry, named Brooks as its 2018 International Environmental Award recipient.

“I am humbled and honored to receive this award from Recipharm, which I warmly accept on behalf of our current and former students,” Brooks said. “I am grateful for support from Baylor University, my longtime collaborators Dr. Kevin Chambliss and Dr. Duane Huggett, and other close colleagues with whom we are engaging research on six continents.”

The International Environmental Award recognizes the best environmental practice or innovation within the pharmacy and healthcare industries or academia.

“We are delighted to present the 2018 award to Bryan Brooks. His work, which explores the potential effects and risks of contaminants, including pharmaceuticals, on the environment is widely recognized in our industry and beyond,” said Lars Backsell, chairman of the board of Recipharm. “This research will help to build a greater understanding of the impact of certain contaminants on the environment and could potentially provide invaluable guidance on how to reduce any negative effects.”

Brooks' transdisciplinary research includes understanding and managing human activities and environmental stressors across levels of biological organization, particularly in rapidly urbanizing regions.

“More and more people are living in urban areas, which has contamination implications for water and food, and as a result, generates some complex health risks,” Brooks said. “However, it also presents a number of opportunities to reduce waste and exposures, to increase resource recovery and to design less hazardous chemicals for the protection of public health and the environment.”

His current research with students focuses on water quality and water reuse, comparative toxicology and pharmacology, sustainable molecular design, environmental public health and the ecology and toxicology of harmful algal blooms.

Brooks routinely works internationally on water quality, environmental contaminants and sustainability issues and is a frequent presenter at international meetings. In 2012, Brooks and Huggett published the book “Human Pharmaceuticals in the Environment: Current and Future Perspectives.”

Additionally, Brooks coordinates the strategic Global Horizon Scanning Project, which aims to identify priority research questions that will help achieve sustainable environmental quality around the world.

“Our research examines interfaces among environment and health with a goal of understanding and managing challenges that affect us all, so we’re delighted to be acknowledged for our team’s contributions,” Brooks said.

Brooks’ research efforts are supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as local government and businesses.

Brooks will be awarded the Recipharm International Environment Award at a prize ceremony in Stockholm in summer 2019.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University’s oldest and largest academic division, consisting of 25 academic departments and seven academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. Faculty conduct research around the world, and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines.