Jacobs School Mourns the Loss of Renowned EMS Researcher

Published October 6, 2023

Dear Jacobs School Community,

I’m heartbroken to share that we have lost a beloved member of our Jacobs School family. E. Brooke Lerner, PhD, passed away on October 4, 2023, after a courageous battle with cancer. She was 52 years old. 

Described by colleagues as a passionate educator, role model and mentor, she was someone others aspired to emulate. 

Dr. Lerner began her career in Emergency Medicine in Western New York as an EMT and paramedic in the 1990s.

A three-time graduate of the University at Buffalo (BA, MS, and PhD), she returned to her alma mater in 2019 as a tenured professor and vice chair of research in the Department of Emergency Medicine in the Jacobs School after a prolific research career at the University of Rochester and the Medical College of Wisconsin.

A pioneer in the field of EMS research, she authored over 140 peer-reviewed publications and secured numerous federally-funded grants to support her work.

She continued to work during her illness and was recently awarded four more years of funding as the principal investigator to lead research on improving prehospital care for children through the federally-funded Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN), for which she was a past chair of the steering committee. 

She led the development of the current national guideline for mass casualty triage and her research, which prospectively enrolled over 12,000 adults and 12,000 children treated by EMS, contributed to the current national field triage guidelines for trauma. 

Focused on the next generation of EMS researchers, she taught courses in prehospital care to medical students, residents, and fellows. She also mentored many young researchers, helping them to develop their careers and make their own contributions to the field of prehospital care.

Dr. Lerner was a key driver of community engagement initiatives and promoted discussions on diversity within the Department of Emergency Medicine, efforts for which she was recognized earlier this year with the Jacobs School’s Community Service Award.  

Following her diagnosis, she worked with the National Association of EMS Physicians (NAEMSP) and the GMR Foundation for Research and Education, to establish the E. Brooke Lerner Research Fund with the goal of supporting early career EMS researchers. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to that fund. 

As we at Jacobs School join the Buffalo EMS community in mourning the passing of our friend, colleague, and educator, I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to Dr. Lerner’s husband, two children, and her entire family. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.    




Allison Brashear, MD, MBA
Vice President for Health Sciences and
Dean, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
University at Buffalo