Anika Chebrolu, 14-year-old Indian-American girl, wins $25,000 for her COVID-19 cure research

The 14-year-old began working on ways to fight the seasonal flu. But her plans changed when the pandemic hit.

An Indian-American girl has been awarded $25,000 for her research to find a treatment for the coronavirus. According to CNN, , a 14-year-old from Texas, has just won the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge for her work on a potential drug to treat COVID-19.

She has developed an antiviral drug for COVID-19 by researching protein spikes in the ongoing pandemic. Anika used in-silico methodology to find a molecule that can selectively bind to the Spike protein.

"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," Anika said.

The 14-year-old began working on ways to fight the seasonal flu. However, her plans changed when the pandemic hit. Anika used several computer programs to identify how and where the molecule would bind to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Anika said that she wants to be a medical researcher and professor one day. She also told that her grandfather inspired her interest in science.

"My grandpa, when I was younger, he always used to push me toward science. He was actually a chemistry professor, and he used to always tell me learn the periodic table of the elements and learn all these things about science, and over time I just grew to love it," she said.

The coronavirus has killed more than 1.1 million people globally since China reported its first case to the World Health Organization (WHO) in December.

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