14-Year-Old Indian-American Girl Awarded For Discovery That May Lead to Covid-19 Cure
Image Credits: Screengrab of video.
Ten months into a global pandemic, everyone has the same questions: When is the vaccine coming? Is there a cure yet?
There may be good news on both of the fronts - we're closer to a vaccine than ever before, and a 14-year-old Indian-American scientist may have started the path for the discovery of a cure.
Anika Chebrolu from Texas, USA just won the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge, which came with a $25,000 prize.
Anika's winning invention uses in-silico methodology to discover a lead molecule that can selectively bind to the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, reports CNN.
Initially, her goal was to use in-silico methods to identify a lead compound that could bind to a protein of the influenza virus.
"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," Anika said.
Anika added that she was inspired to find potential cures to viruses after learning about the 1918 flu pandemic and finding out how many people die every year in the United States despite annual vaccinations and anti-influenza drugs on the market.
The 14-year-old's inspiration and enthusiasm for science comes from her grandfather, “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 told NY Post.
About the pandemic, Anika said she felt the same way, especially in light of her discovery. "I, like everyone else, wish that we go back to our normal lives soon," she said.