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North County Teen Wins $100K Intel Foundation Award for Drug to Treat Influenza

Eric S. Chen's research focuses on the potential of a new drug to treat influenza.

A Carmel Valley teen has won the top award of $100,000 from the Intel Foundation for his research of potential new drugs to treat influenza.

Eric S. Chen's research focused on drugs that inhibit an enzyme essential for viral propagation so that scientists will have more time to develop a vaccine during a flu pandemic, according to a statement from officials for the Intel Science Talent Search 2014, a program of Society for Science & the Public.

The 17-year-old attends Canyon Crest Academy, where he is co-president of his school's fencing team.

Chen and other finalists from across the United States traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to take home awards totaling $630,000. Chen said prior to his win that if he won the $100,000 prize, he would use it to pay for college.

The Intel Science Talent Search is the nation's oldest high school science and math competition. It recognizes 40 high school seniors who are poised to create new technologies and solutions that will have a positive impact on people's lives.

This year's finalists join the ranks of other notable Science Talent Search alumni, who in the past 73 years have gone on to win eight Nobel Prizes, two Fields Medals and five National Medals of Science.

"Society for Science & the Public proudly joins Intel in congratulating Eric Chen for his impressive research toward potential new drugs for influenza," said Rick Bates, interim CEO and chief advancement officer of SSP. "By linking technology and science to the problems of the world they see around them, Eric and all the Intel Science Talent Search finalists are tomorrow's problem solvers."

—City News Service

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