When Jack Andraka approached other scientists for help, they told him his plan would never work.
When you were 15, chances are, revolutionizing medicine wasn't among your after-school activities. But for 15-Year-Old Jack Andraka, it's par for the course.
The high school sophomore recently developed a revolutionary new test for early-stage pancreatic cancer.
This, before he could legally drive a car. This past December, Andraka won Intel’s prestigious Gordon E. Moore Award along with other top honors at the corporation’s annual Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest high school research and science competition.
Jack Andraka created a simple dip-stick sensor to test for levels of mesothelin, which is a biomarker for early-stage pancreatic cancer that’s found in blood and urine.
The method is similar to diabetic testing strips, utilizing Just a pinprick of blood and costing all of three cents to make.
Jack Andraka was moved by the frustrating realities of pancreatic cancer, a particularly lethal form of the disease, after a family friend passed away from it.
But it wasn't until he was sitting in class sometime later that a solution struck him.
Andraka tells TakePart, “I came up with the idea when I was in science class. I was supposed to be paying attention, but then I had This epiphany.”