IHS Freshman named “America’s Top Young Scientist”


Nina Amedin, Knight Press/TV Adviser

Freshman Anika Chebrolu was named the winner of the 3M Young Scientist Challenge and earned the Improving Lives Award for her efforts in helping find a cure to COVID-19.

Chebrolu earned the title of America’s Top Young Scientist and was recognized for her innovative thinking, scientific acumen and display of exception communication skills, according to a press release from Frisco ISD. 

She used in-silico methodology for drug discovery to find a molecule that can selectively bind to the Spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in an attempt to find a cure for the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I have always been amazed by science experiments since my childhood,” said Chebrolu in an interview with the Young Scientist Lab.  “I was drawn towards finding effective cures for Influenza disease after a severe bout of the infection last year. I would like to learn more from 3M scientists to pursue my drug development and with their help, would like to conduct in-vitro and in-vivo testing of my lead drug candidate.”

Chebrolu started her project in eighth grade at Nelson Middle School.

“This amazing recognition is well deserved and just a sneak peek into the positive impact that Ms. Chebrolu will have on our society,” said Principal Mitza Garner in an interview with the district. “Anika is the quintessential definition of future ready and I am eager to see all that she will accomplish.”

Over the summer, Chebrolu was selected as a finalist in the 3M/Discovery Young Scientist Challenge. She worked with her mentor, Dr. Mahfuza Ali to accomplish her goal. Not only did it win her the title of America’s Top Young Scientist, but it won her a $25,000 cash prize and a special destination trip.

Chebrolu hopes to become a medical researcher and a professor in the future.

Check out her interview with @NYSE.