INSPIRING THE FUTURE SCIENTISTS and INVENTORS
OUR FUTURE DEPENDS ON PROVIDING STEM EDUCATION FOR ALL STUDENTS
Perhaps one of the most compelling stories we have heard for making STEM education available to all students is the 60 Minutes interview, which aired on Oct.13 with a 15 year old science student, Jack Andraka. The interview was inspiring, captivating and life changing
Jack (then a ninth grader) became interested in finding a better early-detection diagnostic test after a close family friend died of pancreatic cancer. Upon learning the lack of a rapid, low-cost early screening method contributed to the poor survival rate among individuals with pancreatic cancer, Jack came up with a plan for putting his ideas in motion.He contacted about 200 research professionals at Johns Hopkins University and the National Institutes of Health about his plan.
After receiving 199 rejection letters, Jack finally got an acceptance from Dr. Anirban Maitra, Professor of Pathology, Oncology and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, who became his mentor. Jack developed his test for pancreatic cancer in Dr. Maitra's lab.
Amazingly, there is a 90 percent accuracy in the diagnostic method Jack developed for detecting the presence of pancreatic cancer’s biomarker protein called mesothelin. This discovery earned him the $75,000 Gordon E. Moore Award, after competing with 1,500 other young scientists from 70 countries.
Jack has won a total award of $100,500 in smaller individual categories which he will plans to use towards college. His company has applied for both national and international patents.Here is a link to the 60 Minutes interview with Jack Andraka.