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'Mr. Speaker, The President of the United States...and Jack Andraka!'

Society & Culture  (tags: Jack Andraka, science, medicine, genius, cancer, discovery, research, pancreatic cancer, Gordon E. Moore Award )

- 1922 days ago -
By now, Jack Andraka is almost a household name. He's rubbed shoulders with leading scientists and physicians. And tonight he'll do the same with the President Obama at the State of the Union address at the Capital.

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Angelika R (143)
Friday February 15, 2013, 10:49 am
Watch Video of Gordon E. Moore Award - $75K -Jack Andraka
This is just soo overwhelmingly emotional- what a young genius!

Angelika R (143)
Friday February 15, 2013, 10:53 am
By now, Jack Andraka is almost a household name. Heís rubbed shoulders with leading scientists and physicians. And tonight heíll do the same with the President Obama at the State of the Union address at the Capital. His achievement in cancer research has catapulted this 15 year-old onto the global stage. His national acclaim began when he was awarded the first-place Gordon E. Moore Award for his new method to detect pancreatic cancer at the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, a program of the Society for Science & the Public. The prize, named in honor of Intelís cofounder and retired chairman and CEO, is for $75,000. Thatís quite a sum, even in 15 year-old dollars. I interviewed Jack earlier this month about his science work. Forbes editor Bruce Upbin also wrote about Jackís work back in June.

The life of a scientific rock star

Recently, Jackís days have been busy. Heís a requested speaker at medical schools and grade schools and his popularity on Facebook and Twitter is growing by leaps and bounds. He just returned from FutureMed, a conference that educates, informs and prepares physicians, innovators, inventors, investors and senior healthcare executives to understand and recognize the opportunities and disruptive influences of exponentially growing technologies within medicine and healthcare. And as Jack puts it, Ďit was a life-changing event. It was really coolí. But just as he returned to earth from the intellectual stratosphere of FutureMed, his life was turned upside down with the ring of the phone. His father answered the callĖit was The White House.

What was your first reaction to the call?

It was outrageous! I started running and screaming! I was so excited and so were my parents. But then things calmed down and I got to realize what a wonderful opportunity this was. It was the State of the Union and I was going to be there. With all the excitement, I donít think Iíve slept in 24 hours.

Was The White House what you expected?

It was more. Much more! When my parents and I arrived at The White House, we met with Mrs. Obama. Again, I was so nervous, but she really made me feel at home. She hugged everyone and that got us to relax. Itís funny, you can tell sheís not only the First Lady of the United States but also a mom. That came across really clearly. Then we had a tour of the first floor and I got to see the Oval officeĖbut we werenít allowed in.

Did you enjoy the State of the Union Address?

Well, it was all so spectacular and arriving at the Capital was really special. Even before the speech, the whole event was just amazing. The people, the room, the history all combined to make the moment almost unreal. When President Obama gave his speech, it was really moving. I learned a lot about public policy. In particular, I remember jumping up and applauding his comments on innovation in science and medicine. He getís it.

Did you get to meet the President?

Yes! It was a bit odd at first. Iím so used to seeing him as a talking head on TV. Then, there he was! Right after his speech, we got a few minutes to talk together. It was amazing! But beyond just meeting him, he had some really great questions that were very relevant to my work. There were a few on the science and technology, but he also has some question on FDA approval and moving this work forward to where it can really help in the early and effective diagnosis of cancer.

Who else did you meet at The State of the Union?

I got to sit to sit next to Timothy Cook, the CEO of Apple. Again, the word that comes to mind is amazing! I also met with Arne Duncan, the Secretary of Education. That was really neat because tomorrow Iíll be back at The White House to speak to the STEM Coalition. Thatís science, technology, education and , mathematics Itís a group of teachers and students that strive to ensure education quality across all grade levels. The meeting is hosted by the Office of Science and Technology.

When did you realize that you are becoming a national phenomena?

Well, Iím not sure I would call myself a phenomena. But I realized my life was changing last May when I won the Intel prize. Nothing is linear anymore. The event and opportunities in my life are really moving exponentially. And social media is playing a big role. From Twitter to Facebook to Forbes, itís taking on a life of its own. And thatís becoming my life! It seems like yesterday, I was just a student. And today, Iím hanging out with the President of the United States. Itís cool!

Angelika R (143)
Friday February 15, 2013, 10:55 am
Among the mass reporting around the SOTU this may have slipped through the attention of many, although not so brand new, please read and enjoy!
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