LGBTQ Youth

Openly gay teen scientist honored by Vatican as positive role model

Jack, speaking at the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference earlier this year. Staff Reports

CROWNSVILLE, Md. — An openly gay teen scientist has been honored by the Vatican for his work to develop a cost-effective method to detect pancreatic cancer.

Jack, speaking at the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference earlier this year.

Jack Andraka, speaking at the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference earlier this year.

Jack Andraka, a high school junior from Crownsville, Md., was awarded the International Giuseppe Sciacca Award for his work Saturday. The Vatican awards the prize to recognize youth who are positive role models and outstanding in their fields.

Andraka was hoping to meet Pope Francis while he is in Rome.

He told WBAL Radio he felt is was amazing to be recognized by the Vatican even though he is gay. He says it shows how much the world has grown to accept gay people.

Andraka developed the cancer test when he was 15 after the death of a family friend from pancreatic cancer.

He is talking with two biotech firms to manufacture the test.

Read more about Jack in LGBTQ Nation’s profile of the teen scientist →

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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