Indian-American teenager Anika Chebrolu has won USD 25,000 for her research to find a treatment for COVID-19.
The 14-year-old has developed a molecule that can bind to a certain protein of the coronavirus and prevent it from functioning, which has won her the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge.
The eight grader from Nelson Middle School 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 coronavirus.
"I developed this molecule that can bind to a certain protein on the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This protein by binding to it will stop the function of the protein," Chebrolu told ABC News. "It's exciting. I'm still trying to process everything”.
Crediting her grandfather, a chemistry professor, for inspiring her interest in science, Anika hopes to be a medical researcher and professor.
"The last two days, I saw that there is a lot of media hype about my project since it involves the SARS-CoV-2 virus and it reflects our collective hopes to end this pandemic as I, like everyone else, wish that we go back to our normal lives soon," she told CNN.