Anika Chebrolu, a 14-year-old Indian American student from Frisco, Texas, has won the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge for a discovery that may help combat the spread of COVID-19. She won a prize of $25,000 for her discovery.
Chebrolu developed an antiviral drug for COVID-19 by researching protein spikes in the novel coronavirus.
She used in-silico methodology for drug discovery to find a molecule that can selectively bind to the Spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in an attempt to find a cure for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chebrolu, who hopes to be a medical researcher and professor in 15 years, said she was amazed by science experiments since her childhood and was drawn towards finding effective cures for Influenza disease after a severe bout of the infection in 2019.
Initially, the goal of Chebrolu was to use in-silico methods to identify a lead compound that could bind to a protein of the influenza virus, reported CNN.
“After spending so much time researching about pandemics, viruses and drug discovery, it was crazy to think that I was actually living through something like this,” she was quoted as saying.