Intel and Jack Andraka: A “Look Inside” An Inspirational Story

For those of you who are reading this post, you probably know who Intel is, but you may not be aware of Jack Andraka. But you should.

Why? Because Jack is one hell of a 16 year-old kid, scientist, innovator and well, future lifesaver. So, what do Intel and Jack Andraka have in common? Well, read on and take a “Look Inside,” and I’ll tell you his inspirational and amazing story.

Just about a year ago, Jack Andraka, a high school sophomore at North County High School in Maryland, lost a family member to pancreatic cancer. Following his loss, Jack was looking for some answers and found that one reason for the poor survival rate of pancreatic cancer patients was the lack of early detection screening and old methods of detection.

In a recent interview with the BBC, Jack said that his idea for a pancreatic cancer test came to him during biology class while they were learning about antibodies. Remember he’s in high school. It happened that he was also reading an article on analytical methods using carbon nanotubes, which he believed could help in the development of an early screening test for pancreatic cancer.

With his idea for an early detection screen in hand, Jack needed a lab to conduct his tests. He contacted 200 labs to ask for lab space, only to be rejected by 199. Only one, a doctor of oncology at Johns Hopkins, provided him with the  lab space to use after school. At only age 15, Andraka succeeded in developing a test that is 168 times faster, 400 times more sensitive, and 26,000 times less expensive than the medical standard. And his diagnostic test is 90% accurate.

Now, you ask, what do Intel and Jack Andraka have to do with each other? Well, Jack recently earned the grand prize of $75,000 as part of the Gordon E. Moore Award – named for Intel’s co-founder in 2012 – after competing with 1,500 other young scientists from 70 countries. And with this recent award, Intel used Jack’s story as part of a new ad campaign “Look Inside” which celebrates innovation.

Why do I feel compelled to tell the story? First and foremost, my father passed away from pancreatic cancer nearly eight years ago. To have someone find an early detection test so close, is heartbreaking. But, to find a test that could save so many countless future lives, that’s just priceless.

The Jack Andraka story is inspirational and innovative. Intel honored this amazing accomplishment with a much deserved award, and also shared it with a larger audience through their new campaign. That’s just brilliant. Who doesn’t enjoy an underdog? Jack was rejected by so many because of his age, only to overcome those barriers with the help of one visionary who opened the door for him to succeed.

Jack Andraka, you are a scientist, an innovator and most of all a lifesaver. Thank you!

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Contact Greg Straface at [email protected]


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