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Albemarle High School student awarded $50,000 scholarship for dry macular degeneration discovery

Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 5:19 PM EDT
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - A 16-year-old student at Albemarle High School is being recognized with a $50,000 scholarship for her discovery to treat a common disease that causes blindness.

Meenakshi Ambati has been researching macular degeneration for years. Her project found that fluoxetine, a commonly used anti-depressant drug, could be repurposed to treat the disease that impacts 200 million people worldwide.

“I’ve been working on this project for several years now, I’ve been working on summers weekends and after school,” Ambati said.

Ambati is one of 20 scholarship winners in the 2021 Davidson Fellows Scholarship Program.

“I’m really interested in scientific outreach in the community,” Ambati said. “Particularly with my project, I’m planning on running clinical trials shortly to test fluoxetine and get it out into the public.”

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