Student wins $100G for finding new way to fight the flu

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The Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology announced Tuesday the winners for their nationwide contest. The prize is seen as the highest science honor awarded to high school students.

A record 2,440 students registered for this year's competition, and a total of 1,599 projects were submitted for consideration -- with $500,000 in scholarships up for grabs.

Eric Chen, a high school senior from San Diego, Calif., won the individual category. Chen used computer modeling combined with biological studies to speed up the discovery of new anti-flu medicine.

“I’ve been trying to develop new medicines, so it would be a flu drug … you would take a pill and be cured of the flu,” Chen told “I used a computer-aided approach to speed up the drug discovery process for new flu medicine.”

Chen said he drew inspiration for this project from the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic, which drew concern worldwide, including in his hometown.

“I was a really confused 13-year-old,” said Chen. “I thought it was strange that the flu, a seemingly harmless virus that would usually put me in bed for a few days could cause such mayhem.”

Chen is no stranger to success, having already earned the Google Science Fair Grand Prize and the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair Grand Prize Award.