[Vision2020] Jack Andraka

Rosemary Huskey donaldrose at cpcinternet.com
Tue Mar 10 14:06:12 PDT 2015

I saw this young man on a morning news show and I must say, remarkable
doesn't even begin to describe him.

Rose Huskey

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Jack Andraka

 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jack_Andraka_2013.jpg> Jack Andraka

Andraka in 2013


Jack Thomas Andraka
January 8, 1997 (age 18)
 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crownsville,_Maryland> Crownsville, Maryland,


United States




 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cancer_research> Cancer research,
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_research> medical research,
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invention> invention

 <http://jackandraka.net> jackandraka.net

Jack Thomas Andraka (born January 8, 1997) is an American
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inventor> inventor,
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientist> scientist and
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cancer_researcher> cancer researcher. He is
known for his work in developing a new, rapid, inexpensive, and patent
pending <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-BBC-1> [1]
method to detect an increase of a  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein>
protein that indicates the presence of
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pancreatic_cancer> pancreatic,
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ovarian_cancer> ovarian, and
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lung_cancer> lung cancer during their early
stages. On December 12, 2014, Andraka announced that he would be attending
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_University> Stanford University as a
member of the Class of 2019.

Research and experimentation

File:Jack Andraka - Detecting pancreatic cancer at 15.webm
_pancreatic_cancer_at_15.webm> Play media

Andraka talks about his work

Andraka cultured MIA PaCa cells, from a commercial pancreatic
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carcinoma> carcinoma
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cell_culture> cell line, which overexpress
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesothelin> mesothelin, a biomarker
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-Argani-2> [2] for
ovarian, lung and pancreatic cancers. The mesothelin was isolated,
concentrated and quantified with  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ELISA>
ELISA. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-SFS-3> [3] After
optimization with the  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Blot> Western
Blot assay, the human mesothelin-specific
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antibody> antibodies were mixed with
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-walled_carbon_nanotubes> single-walled
carbon nanotubes and used to coat strips of ordinary filter paper. This made
the paper conductive. The optimal layering was determined using a
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scanning_electron_microscope> scanning
electron microscope. Cell media spiked with varying amounts of mesothelin
were then tested against the paper biosensor and any change in the
electrical potential of the sensor strip (due to the changing conductivity
of the nanotubes) was measured, before and after each application.
Specifically, what happened was this:

The antibodies would bind to the mesothelin and enlarge. These beefed-up
molecules would spread the nanotubes farther apart, changing the electrical
properties of the network: The more mesothelin present, the more antibodies
would bind and grow big, and the weaker the electrical signal would become.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-smithsonian-4> [4]

A  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dose%E2%80%93response_relationship>
dose-response curve was constructed with an
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coefficient_of_determination> R2 value of
0.9992. Mr. Andraka claimed that his tests on human blood serum obtained
from both healthy people and patients with chronic
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pancreatitis> pancreatitis,
pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (a precursor to pancreatic carcinoma),
or pancreatic cancer showed a similar response. The sensor's limit of
detection sensitivity was found to be 0.156 ng/mL; 10 ng/mL is considered
the level of overexpression of mesothelin consistent with pancreatic cancer.
Andraka claimed that his sensor costs $0.03 (compared to his estimation of
$800 for a standard test
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-5> [5]) and 10 tests
can be performed per strip, taking 5 minutes each. According to him, the
method is 168 times faster, 1/26,667th as expensive, and 400 times more
sensitive than ELISA, and 25% to 50% more accurate than the
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CA19-9> CA19-9 test.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-SFS-3> [3]

The result of the project was a new type of diagnostic test for pancreatic
cancer using a paper sensor, similar to that of the
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diabetes> diabetic test strip. This strip
tests for the level of  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesothelin>
mesothelin, a soluble cancer  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biomarker>
biomarker first described by Scholler and colleagues in
s_of_the_United_States_of_America> PNAS in 1999,
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-6> [6] to determine
whether or not a patient has early-stage pancreatic cancer. The test is over
90 percent accurate in detecting the presence of mesothelin.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-Intel-7> [7]

He has patented his method of sensing pancreatic cancer and is communicating
with companies about developing an over-the-counter test.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-BBC-1> [1] According to
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_Desmond-Hellmann> Susan
Desmond-Hellmann, oncologist and chancellor of
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UCSF> UCSF, any practical usefulness of the
test remains to be seen. Much more testing, possibly over several years, is
needed to demonstrate that the test can catch cases early and reliably
enough. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-FORBES-8> [8]


A 2011 article published by Sharon et al.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-9> [9] refutes many of
Andraka's claims about specificity of using mesothelin as a biomarker for
pancreatic cancer. Specifically, the group showed that mesothelin serum
levels in healthy donors were not statistically different from serum levels
in pancreatic cancer patients.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_M._Church> George M. Church, professor
of genetics at  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard_University> Harvard
University, has raised concerns about the cost, speed, and sensitivity
claims. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-FORBES-8> [8]
Furthermore, a carbon-nanotube based sensor similar to Andraka's was
reported in 2009 (three years before Andraka won the Intel ISEF) by Wang et
al. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-10> [10]

While being an advocate for  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_access> open
access, he was criticized at  <http://opencon2014.org/> OpenCon 2014
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-opencon-11> [11] for
not publishing his discovery openly for anyone to use and build upon, and
moreover filing a patent
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-BBC-1> [1] for it.


File:How Open Access Empowered a 16-Year-Old to Make Cancer Breakthrough.ogv
d_a_16-Year-Old_to_Make_Cancer_Breakthrough.ogv> Play media

Andraka in an interview with  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Collins>
Francis Collins on  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_access> open access.

Andraka found that one reason for the poor survival rate from pancreatic
cancer was the lack of early detection and an effective screening method.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-SFS-3> [3] According to
his account, his teenage optimism left him undeterred, and he went on to
consult "a teenager's two best friends: Google and Wikipedia",
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-Internets-12> [12] also
drawing upon content from YouTube.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-Internets_II-13> [13]
He began to think of various ways of detecting and preventing cancer growth
and terminating the growth before the cancer cells become invasive.

In an interview with the  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC> BBC, Andraka
said the idea for his pancreatic cancer test came to him while he was in
biology class at  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_County_High_School>
North County High School, drawing on the class lesson about
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antibodies> antibodies and the article on
analytical methods using  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_nanotubes>
carbon nanotubes he was surreptitiously reading in class at the time.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-BBC-1> [1] Afterward he
followed up with more research on nanotubes and cancer biochemistry aided by
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_access> free online scientific journals.
He then contacted 200 professors at
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johns_Hopkins_University> Johns Hopkins
University and the
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Institutes_of_Health> National
Institutes of Health with a plan, a budget, and a timeline for his project,
hoping to receive laboratory help. He received 199 rejection emails before
he got a positive reply from Anirban Maitra, Professor of
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pathology> Pathology,
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oncology> Oncology, and Chemical and
Biomolecular Engineering at
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johns_Hopkins_School_of_Medicine> Johns
Hopkins School of Medicine.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-smithsonian-4> [4]


In October 2013, Andraka appeared as a guest on
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Colbert_Report> The Colbert Report.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-14> [14]

Personal life and family

Jack Andraka was born in
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crownsville,_Maryland> Crownsville, Maryland
and is of Polish ancestry.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-15> [15] He has given a
number of accounts of what inspired him to work on pancreatic cancer,
including the death of a family friend whom he described as almost an uncle.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-WSJ-16> [16]
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-Burris-17> [17]
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-18> [18]
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-ABC-19> [19] These
various narratives have been told by him as recently as his
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nW7_cDU7Idk> talk in TEDxNijmegen 2013.


Andraka has been openly gay since he was 13.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-MW-20> [20]
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-MW-20> [20]
21> [21] <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-22> [22] When
asked to be interviewed about his sexual orientation, Andraka responded,
"That sounds awesome! I'm openly gay and one of my biggest hopes is that I
can help inspire other  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT> LGBT youth to
get involved in  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STEM_fields> STEM [Science,
Technology, Engineering and Mathematics]. I didn't have many [gay] role
models [in science] besides  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Turing> Alan
21> [21]

He likes white-water kayaking and is a member of the National Junior
Wildwater Team), folds origami, and enjoys watching
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glee_%28TV_series%29> Glee and
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bones_%28TV_series%29> Bones.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-23> [23] He notes: "I
suppose I'd want [people] to know I'm not a complete nerd. I actually get
out and stuff. I go kayaking. I'm not the creepy guy that wears big glasses
and hides out in the corner."
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-MW-20> [20]

Andraka's father, Steve, is a  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_engineer>
civil engineer and his mother, Jane, is an
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anesthetist> anesthetist. She told the Sun
"... we're not a super-athletic family. We don't go to much football or
baseball." "Instead we have a million [science] magazines [and] sit around
the table and talk about how people came up with their ideas and what we
would do differently."
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-24> [24] Andraka's
older brother, Luke, won $96,000 in prizes at the
ir> Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in 2010 with a project
that examined how acid mine drainage affected the environment. In 2011, Luke
won an
HINK_Competition> MIT THINK Award which recognizes students whose science
projects benefit their communities.
<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-Burris-17> [17]

Awards and recognition

*	2012  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_E._Moore> Gordon E. Moore
Award <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-Intel-7> [7]
*	2013 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, Fourth-place,
Chemistry. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Andraka#cite_note-Burris-17> [



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