Meet Anika Chebrolu, A 14 Year Old Indo-American Telugu Ammayi Who Won $25,000 For Her Covid-19 Cure Research

This is an inspirational story about how a 14 year Telugu ammayi has won $25,000 for the COVID-19 cure research she has done.

Who is Anika:

Anika is an eighth grader from Frisco in Texas. She decided to take part in the Young Scientist Challenge after she battled a severe influenza infection last year. She wanted to find a cure for influenza. However, that all changed after the COVID-19 pandemic hit.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screenshot-2020-10-20-at-7.58.47-PM.png


Her discovery that could provide potential treatment for COVID-19:

Anika has won $25,000 in the ‘3M Young Scientist Challenge’ for her work using in-silico methodology for drug discovery to find a molecule that can selectively bind to the Spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 virus in an attempt to find a cure for the coronavirus pandemic.

She has developed an antiviral drug for COVID-19 by researching protein spikes in the ongoing pandemic. Anika used in-silico methodology to find a molecule that can selectively bind to the Spike protein.

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Speaking about her invention, Anika said:

“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.”This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screenshot-2020-10-20-at-8.00.29-PM.png

Anika said that she wants to be a medical researcher and professor one day. She also told that her grandfather inspired her interest in science.

“My grandpa, when I was younger, he always used to push me toward science. He was actually a chemistry professor, and he used to always tell me learn the periodic table of the elements and learn all these things about science, and over time I just grew to love it.”

Her next goal, she says, is to work alongside scientists and researchers who are fighting to “control the morbidity and mortality” of the pandemic by developing her findings into an actual cure for the virus.


Along with Anika, 2 other Telugu based people also shined bright in this challenge. Samhita Pokkunri, Harsha Pillarsetti and Samvrit Rao are the other people who shined through this challenge.


Samhita, who reached finals, Designed and programmed multple robots to mimic swarm intelligence to accomplish tasks and collect data.

And 13 year old Harsha Pillarsetti identified an alternative, low cost approach to reduce indoor air pollution.


Congrats to all the young talents shining like diamonds.

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