A 14 year old girl managed to win a contest by discovering a molecule against the coronavirus.
Since the COVID-19 global pandemicScientists from all over the world have made efforts to search and investigate this new virus that has put society on alert.
Various laboratories have been working to find vaccines and treatments; even Bill Gates is funding seven probable cures to end the pandemic.
Thanks to this type of scientific research, it has been possible to better understand the evolution of coronavirus.
However, not only graduate experts have been working on it, but many other students have put their hands on the march and a clear example is that of Anika Chebrolu, a 14-year-old girl, who won a contest for having discovered a molecule against the disease.
The girl who went around the world
Chebrolu, of American origin, won a $ 25,000 prize for a finding that could lead to a cure for this disease. It has been proclaimed winner of the Young Scientist Challenge 2020.
The 14-year-old girl received this award for having used the in-silico methodology – computer simulation – to discover a leader molecule that can selectively bind to the spike protein of the virus SARS-CoV-2.
However, when this student began the development of this project, she was not focused on finding a cure for the coronavirus, but rather the goal was to identify a lead compound that could bind to a protein of the influenza virus.
“After spending so much time researching pandemics, viruses and drug discovery, it was crazy to think that I was actually experiencing something like this,” explained Anika, who began her research long before the coronavirus entered our lives.
In fact, the student began to be inspired by the 1918 pandemic, when influenza devastated populations around the world.
Anika He says that, initially, his research sought to find out how many people died each year in the United States despite annual vaccination and drugs in the pharmaceutical industry.
“Due to the immense severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and the drastic impact it had on the world in such a short time, with the help of my mentor, I changed direction,” he adds.
After having conducted various investigations, Anika He tried to analyze how a molecule would degrade in the human body and whether it was toxic to cells.
He had to search for his drug candidate among 698 million compounds. With the help of her mentor, the doctor Mahfuza Ali, tracked this data to find a potential drug candidate against SARS-CoV-2.
Apparently, its structure and binding capacity would allow the virus to be blocked through the spike protein, all without causing harm to the infected person. However, it will be necessary from now on to be analyzed more in depth by virologists and other experts in the field.
Anika She is proud of this find, but her work has not ended there. Let’s not forget her name because soon she could be much more than a student who won a scientific contest.
Without a doubt, this girl, whose dream is to become a professor or a medical researcher, deserved that award for the contribution she has made to humanity.