By Maria Hess
When actor Michael J. Fox set out to start a research-based nonprofit devoted to Parkinson’s disease, he put out feelers on Wall Street. One name came up several times, Deborah W. Brooks, who’d enjoyed a nine-year run as a vice president at Goldman, Sachs & Co. before becoming a social worker. “No one does that,” says Brooks. With Fox, she founded The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in 2000. During her seven years as president and CEO, the foundation funded more than $90 million in research. Brooks, who now lives in Greenville, maintains a national role by leading fundraising efforts.
WHAT SHE'S PROUDEST OF Bridging the gap between scientists and pharmaceutical companies such as Wyeth Pharmaceuticals to create a new way of funding research.
HER REAL JOB Finding the money. New treatments take “billions of dollars and years to accomplish.”