Anika Chebrolu, 14, developed a molecule that can bind to and prevent a specific protein of the coronavirus from functioning.
“It's exciting. I'm still trying to process everything," she told KTVT.
“I developed this molecule that can bind to a certain protein on the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This protein by binding to it it will stop the function of the protein.”
Anika, who is from Frisco, Texas, was handed the prize for winning the 3M Young Scientist Challenge.
Anika originally planned her science project to to fight the winter flu but adapted it when the pandemic hit earlier this year.
The youngster used multiple computer programmes to identify how and where the molecule would bind to the virus.
And she credited her grandfather for spurring her interest in science.
“My grandpa, when I was younger, he always used to push me toward science,” she said.
“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.”