Pope Francis has honored a gay teen science prodigy for his work developing a cost-effective method to detect pancreatic cancer.
Jack Andraka, a 16-year-old teen from Maryland, is one of the most brilliant minds of his generation.
He was awarded the Vatican’s International Giuseppe Sciacca Award for his work.
But while he was won several accolades for his ground-breaking science, this award is special.
Speaking to WBAL News, Andraka said: ‘It’s really amazing to be recognized by the Vatican, especially as a gay scientist.
‘I mean this would be unheard of just a few years ago. To be part of this bridge of progress is really amazing.’
He added: ‘It just shows how much the world has grown to accept people that are gay and are LGBT. It's really amazing.’
Andraka developed the award-winning test when he was 15, after the death of a family friend from pancreatic cancer.
It is considered one of the deadliest forms of cancer, as there is no reliable way to detect the cancer before it spreads.
The majority of patients die within five years.
Andraka, who has said he lives his life being inspired by Alan Turing, is now in talks with two biotech firms to study and manufacture the cancer test.
But due to the amount of time to ensure the tests work properly, it will likely not be on the market for another five or 10 years.