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Meet Anika Chebrolu, the 14-year-old who may be onto a cure for COVID-19

Anika Chebrolu is a 14-year-old on a mission. Anika, like many of us, is tired of the toll the coronavirus has taken on this country, so she entered the 3M Young Scientist Challenge with a project she hopes can lead researchers to find a cure for COVID-19.


During her eighth grade year, Anika decided to do research to find a molecule that could selectively bind to the influenza virus, but with the support of a mentor, she switched gears and began to work on finding a molecule that could bind to the SARS-CoV-2 virus after the virus started to create a worldwide crisis.

Anika was successful in discovering a molecule through in-silico methodology that can bind to the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Or in layman's terms, Anika, with the help of a computer, found a particle that can hook on to the coronavirus inside a person's body.

Anika won the 3M Young Scientist Lab competition, along with a $25,000 prize, but she says her work isn't done yet. Anika told CNN that she hopes to work with virologists and drug developers to use the molecule she discovered to find a cure for COVID-19.

Although Anika has scientific talents and knowledge that rival scientists three times her age, she still enjoys learning classical Indian dance. She says her favorite invention is the internet and when she grows up she wants to become a medical researcher and professor. We *love* the passion this girl has—and she just might change the world!


by Emma Rose Eggleston | 10/20/2020