14-year-old Girl Won $25K Prize for Discovering a Possible Cure for Covid-19

This 14-year-old girl from Texas has been rewarded for finding a potential cure for Covid-19. Anika Chebrolu is…
14-year-old girl

This 14-year-old girl from Texas has been rewarded for finding a potential cure for Covid-19. Anika Chebrolu is the winner of 3M Young Scientists Challenge and she was awarded a $25k prize.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, a lot of scientists have been conducting researches to find a cure for the novel Coronavirus. In this year’s 3M Young Scientists, Anika decided to carry out research on the Covid-19 cure. In her invention, she used in-silico methodology to find a lead molecule that can bind to the protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

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.


Across the globe, over 1.1 million people have died due to the deadly Coronavirus since the first case was reported in China. The data from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering revealed that the United States has seen over 219,000 deaths.

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Anika, an Indian American, did her project in 8th grade and submitted, however, this wasn’t always going to be focused on getting a cure for Covid-19. At first, Anika’s goal was to make use of in-silico methods to find a lead compound that could bind to the influenza virus’ protein.

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.

Because of the immense severity of the Covid-19 pandemic and the drastic impact it had made on the world in such a short time, I, with the help of my mentor, changed directions to target the SARS-CoV-2 virus.


Anika maintained that winning the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge is not the end of her story as she has much work to do. Her next objective is to work with researchers and scientists who are fighting to control the mortality of the pandemic. To do this, the 14-year-old girl intends to develop her findings into the exact cure for the virus.

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