Indian-American teenager wins prize for research on finding a cure for COVID-19

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. 

CtoI News Desk
CtoI News Desk – CtoI

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