San Diego Teen Wins $100K in Science Competition

Eric Chen, 17, identified possible new drugs to treat the flu

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    NEWSLETTERS

    San Diego teenager Eric Chen, 17, won $100,000 in the 2014 Intel Science Talent Search in Washington, D.C. The Canyon Crest Academy senior used multiple disciplines to identify new drugs to treat influenza. NBC 7's Liberty Zabala reports.

    Eric Chen of San Diego may have found a way to control flu outbreaks—and he’s not even out of high school.

    Chen, 17, was announced as the winner of the 2014 Intel Science Talent Search during a ceremony Tuesday in Washington, D.C. He also received the grand prize of $100,000.

    The Canyon Crest Academy senior used multiple disciplines to identify new drugs to treat influenza. He hopes the drugs could keep a flu outbreak under control while a vaccine is developed.

    Chen was chosen over more than 1,700 other applicants, according to a news release from Intel and the Society for Science and the People. Forty finalists were announced in January.

    Two other California teens placed in the Top 10. Kevin Lee of Irvine came in second place and received $75,000 for developing a heart model that could give insight into arrhythmia. Natalie Ng of Cupertino came up with a tool to predict the spread of breast cancer cells, earning her fifth place.

    Since the competition began in 1941, finalists have gone on to win eight Nobel Prizes, five National Medals of Science and various other prestigious awards, according to the release.

    This isn't Chen's first big win. He won first place and a $100,000 scholarship in the 2013 Siemens Competition for Math, Science and Technology for his research on the same topic. He also won the grand prize at the Google Science Fair.

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