This 1997 born kid, Jack Andraka, studying the penultimate year of american school, is already being hailed as the “…Edison of our times.” Born to Polish ancestry parents – father an Engineer, mother an anesthetist, Jack has developed an easy, cheap and fast diagnostic test to find possibilities of pancreatic, ovarian or lung cancer in a person. Because of very poor survival rate of pancreatic cancer patients, this early detection system can be a significant life saver for many patients. Already a winner of Gordon E. Moore prize instituted by Intel, Jack has been winning various awards consistently.
Jack lost a close family friend, an uncle as he mentions him, to pancreatic cancer and felt the need to study more on the issue. Using Googel, Wikipedia, Youtube and scientific journals freely available online, Jack came up with a rapid, sensitive, inexpensive screening method, which will enable an early detection for the disease. He then applied to 200 research labs and scientists in America to help him in providing a lab and help in testing and perfecting the method. 199 rejections came, before an Indian scientist, Anirban Maitra, a professor at John Hopkins School of Medicine accepted his application. Under Dr. Maitra’s tutelage, Andraka perfected his dipstick type method, just like diabetes test, with an accuracy level of 90% correct decisions. Though the test needs several more years to be universally accepted, it is a big breakthrough in cancer research.
Andrak’s elder brother too had won big prizes for his research efforts. Andraka had already held talks at international avenues including delivering several TED talks.
Andraka is openly gay. His future projects are eagerly awaited by scientific community all around.