Jack Andraka

About Jack

Jack in the lab

Jack Andraka is currently studying as a Maryland High School sophomore who is responsible for one of the biggest contributions in the medical field of 21st century. Earlier during his ninth grade, Jack had lost one of his close family friends to pancreatic cancer. Dedicating himself to finding a way to contribute in order to fight cancer, he started doing a lot of research which led him to realize that cancer claims a lot of lives imply because it can mask its early symptoms very well.

Also, an inexpensive, rapid testing and screening for cancer did not exist. Usually patients found out that they had cancer in the last few stages, and they had to subject themselves to torturous treatments which never guaranteed complete success. So Jack Adaner worked hard to find a solution: a relatively more inexpensive dipstick like sensor that can test and detect early signs of ovarian, pancreatic and lung cancers.

When Jack had the idea, he sent his proposal to about 200 professionals in the National institutes of Health and John Hopkins University so that he could get adequate funding and lab support to make a solution possible. But all of them rejected his idea, until Dr. Anirban Maitra who is Professor of Pathology, Oncology and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at John Hopkins School of Medicine decided to give him a chance. Under his mentorship, Jack utilized his lab benefits to create the test.

His test became effective in detecting the biomarker protein of cancer called mesothelin. The test has proved to be about 90% accurate. For his notable work, he won the Gordon E. Moore Award and a $75,000 prize after contending against about 1500 scientists of young age. He also received other awards, which totalled his winnings to $105,000, that he will be using for college. he has also filed for patents on the international and national level, and started his own Company.

He won the prestigious Smithsonian American ingenuity Youth Award, and has been given the chance to speak at several Ted talks and events for Clinton Global Initiative, Chicago Ideas Week and FutureMd. He has also been featured in the award winning film of Linda Peters called "Just Jack" and a documentary called "You Don't Know Jack" which was submitted to the Morgan Spurlock's Sundance Film industry. He is currently a member of National Junior Wildwater Kayak team, and has a knack of winning math competitions both on national and international platforms.

Copyright © Jack Andraka 2013