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Argonne National Laboratory

COVID-19 Research

Argonne scientists and research facilities help track, treat and stop the spread of the global pandemic.

Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory joined the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in January 2020, as the disease was just beginning to reach the United States. Since then, Argonne’s researchers and powerful scientific facilities have made a difference in the fight against COVID-19 in many different areas, from laying the groundwork for vaccines, to forecasting virus spread, to manufacturing better masks.

Researchers from across the country use the ultra-bright, high-energy X-rays provided by Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source to determine the protein structures of the virus, making COVID-19 vaccines more effective and advancing the development of treatments. Argonne couples state-of-the-art supercomputing and artificial intelligence to rapidly screen billions of potential drug molecules by simulating how they interact with viral proteins. We support City of Chicago, State of Illinois, and federal officials by modeling the spread of COVID-19 and the effectiveness of preventative measures, and by ensuring that supply chains and key infrastructure remain resilient in a time of uncertainty. Researchers from Argonne, industry and academia use our specialized facilities to develop reusable, anti-viral N95 mask filters and determine the effectiveness of fabrics for homemade masks.

Argonne is part of the U.S. Department of Energy National Virtual Biotechnology Laboratory (NVBL), a consortium of DOE national laboratories with core capabilities relevant to the threats posed by COVID-19, and the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium that combines the power of 16 different supercomputing systems with expertise from government, academia, and industry.

Our research and our scientific facilities are helping the nation overcome the COVID-19 crisis. The stories linked from this site provide the latest COVID-19 research updates from Argonne and from media outlets.