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Teen wins $25K prize for research on potential COVID-19 cure

CBS News logo CBS News 10/22/2020 Mireya Villarreal
a woman smiling and posing for the camera: Anika Chebrolu © Credit: CBSNews Anika Chebrolu

A budding scientist from Frisco, Texas, hopes to one day save lives with her research on a potential treatment for the coronavirus.

Anika Chebrolu, 14, was named the winner of the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge, a competition for middle school scientists. The eighth-grader's project won her a $25,000 cash prize.

14-year-old girl works on potential cure for coronavirus
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"I isolated a lead compound from a database of almost 698 million molecules," said Chebrolu.

That discovery, which she hopes will lead to a new weapon against COVID-19, began two years ago while Chebrolu was researching the Spanish flu pandemic.

"I just wanted to help the world and let children know that they can do whatever they want to accomplish," she said.

While the teen hopes to be a medical researcher and professor in the future, she is already doing grown-up work and inspiring a generation to reach for the stars.

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