16-year-old Touts Role of Open Access in Breakthrough Cancer Diagnostic: Interview of Jack Andraka by Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the NIH

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Today, SPARC’s student initiative, the Right to Research Coalition, launches a video of Jack Andraka, a high school sophomore who won the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair with a breakthrough diagnostic for pancreatic cancer.  Interviewed by Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the National Institutes of Health, Andraka discusses how Open Access articles and NIH’s PubMed Central played a central role in enabling his discovery.  

Jack used free online articles “religiously” in creating his pancreatic diagnostic that is 26,667 times cheaper, 168 times faster, and 400 times more sensitive than the current test.  In discussing his discovery, Jack points to paywalls for journal articles as a central barrier preventing others from making similar breakthroughs.

Andraka is a perfect example of the innovation that arises from unexpected places when anyone with curiosity, determination, and an Internet connection has Open Access to research articles – especially those reporting on publicly funded research.  Open Access leads to innovation, which in turn can improve the lives of Americans and create critical new products and services – like Andraka’s cancer diagnostic test. 

This interview is presented by the Right to Research Coalition, with support from the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) and the Society for Science and the Public.

For press inquiries, contact Nick Shockey, Director of the Right to Research Coalition
Phone: 202-296-2296
Email: nick [at] arl [dot] org