14-year-old’s Discovery to Possible Coronavirus Cure


Mariana Razo, Editor-in-Chief

While scientists rush to find a potential vaccine to the pandemic, a young girl has made a discovery that could lead to future major breakthroughs.

Anika Chebrolu, an Indian-American, won the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge along with a $25,000 prize for her discovery of a possible cure to covid-19.

According to CNN, Chebrolu “uses in-silico methodology to discover a lead molecule that can selectively bind to the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.” In-silico methodology uses software and databases instead of lab testing.

This project could ended up being a major factor in a coronavirus cure. Originally, the goal of Chebrolu’s science project was to identify a lead compound that could bind to a protein of the influenza virus. In simple words, the binding of this viral protein could potentially stop the virus entry into the cell, creating a viable drug target. 

The 14-year-old stated that she was inspired by the 1918 flu pandemic to discover why many people die in the U.S. due to the flu despite vaccinations and drugs.

“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,” Chebrolu told CNN. Anika Chebrolu is now known as “America’s Top Young Scientist.” Along with the $25,000 prize, she has also been awarded a special destination trip.