Anika Chebrolu, a 14-year-old girl from Frisco, Texas, has won the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge for a discovery that could lead to a potential COVID-19 therapy, CNN reports. The award comes with a $25,000 prize.

The 8th-grader from Nelson Middle School used “in-silico methodology to discover a lead molecule that can selectively bind to the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.”

According to the New Indian Express, Chebrolu began her work to fight the seasonal flu, but changed her plans when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and stories about the people who were suffering inspired her work.

“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,” Chebrolu said.

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According to ABC30, It’s unclear whether her research has been tested in cells or a live model.

CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

As ESSENCE previously reported, “according to a report released by the Commonwealth Fund, at least 7.7 million Americans have lost jobs with employer-sponsored health insurance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When you include their dependents, this actually impacts well over 14 million people. And, that’s just counting the Americans, who, until recently, even had health insurance – not the almost 30 million Americans who didn’t or the many others who still have subpar and expensive employer-sponsored health insurance plans despite the Affordable Care Act.”

Over 220,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 since March, while over 8.26 million Americans have become infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus.