Crownsville, MD student takes curiosity to the next level
By Matt Bowden
When Crownsville, MD student Jack Andraka spent his summer between third and fourth grade taking a course on "Inventions" at Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth, Intel's International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) may have been the furthest thing from his mind.
But when a relative's illness turned for the worse, Jack took that early spirit of curiosity and steered it toward research on a new, earlier way to detect pancreatic cancer.
Now 15, Jack saw this inquistiveness pay off this last week as he took top honors with the Gordon E. Moore Award and a $75,000 prize at Intel's 2012 Intel ISEF ceremony. Using an approach similar to that of diabetic test strips, Jack created a simple dip-stick sensor to test the level of mesothelin, a pancreatic cancer biomarker, in blood or urine, to determine whether or not a patient has early-stage pancreatic cancer.
It's an amazing step forward, and definitely fits the criteria for "awesome"!
Marketplace talks with Jack Andraka about his project