Born in Philadelphia, the former Helene Pickholtz graduated from Germantown High School and lived most of her adult life in Penn Valley.
Brooks' career in drug development began in academia and ended in the pharmaceutical industry. While in academia, she coordinated a landmark multicenter clinical trial based at Lankenau Hospital that discovered effective lipid modification reduces death from coronary heart disease. The results of this trial had a momentous effect on patients with elevated cholesterol levels, leading to fewer adverse cardiovascular events: Lipitor and other associated drugs were drawn from this study.
She began her pharmaceutical industry career as a senior clinical-research associate aiding in the successful development of a heparin-like drug that is widely used in clinical settings today. She retired as a clinical-trials manager involved in the development of neurological agents used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease and multiple-sclerosis patients.
In her free time, Brooks enjoyed cooking meals for friends, listening to Frank Sinatra, kvelling about her family, rooting for the Eagles, and playing black jack and bridge.
She is survived by a daughter, Caryn Brooks; a son, Matthew Brooks; a brother, Stephen Pickholtz; and two grandchildren.