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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Houston High student awarded $10,000 grant for COVID vaccine project!

Local 24 News Weeknight Anchor Katina Rankin has this local good news story.

GERMANTOWN, Tenn. — A Germantown student has been awarded a huge grant to work on a world betterment project. During a pandemic, this student has chosen to make the world better by working on a vaccine. Local 24 News Weeknight Anchor Katina Rankin has this local good news story.

Harshawardhan Pande is a senior at Houston High School in Germantown. Horseshow, as he's known, has been awarded a $10,000 grant to research vaccines against SARS-COV2 virus.

"It is actually the virus that's responsible for this COVID-19 pandemic," said Pande.

Pande has developed a process called "reverse vaccinology." It's a process that predicts a faster and safer way to prove a vaccine's effectiveness.

"Basically, the traditional way of making vaccines - just like, you do experimental test and then all the clinical trials and all that," said Pande.

That work earned him a $10,000 grant based on his creative plan to make the world a better place. It's part of the Be More Fund Project by the National Society of High School Scholars. Pande will be mentored by two local infectious disease professors.

"Dr. Dale - he's in the infectious disease lab at UTHSC. And another is Dr. Rinyah. She's actually working at the University of Tennessee Knoxville," said Pande. "We're gonna be performing different tests to see, like, if we can raise antibodies, different proteins are stable, so they can be helpful in a vaccine."

And trying to make the world a better place is local good news.

Hear what some of our scholarship winners, corporate leaders, educators and the highest-achieving students have to say about what membership in NSHSS means to them and their futures. Membership is by invitation only to those students who have achieved at least one of our rigorous academic criteria.