NVBL Projects

Epidemiological Modeling

To aid U.S. policymakers in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, a team of researchers at U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratories is developing an integrated COVID-19 pandemic monitoring, modeling, and analysis capability. This project will take advantage of National Laboratory supercomputers—including the world’s most powerful—along with significant National Laboratory capabilities in scalable data and computing, spatial demography and human dynamics research, and economic and risk modeling. Ultimately, this project’s analysis framework, multiscale modeling system, and scalable COVID-19 data collection process will provide improved understanding of COVID-19 impacts and heightened situational awareness to government leaders.

Epidemiological Modeling Highlights »


The rapid spread of COVID-19 has resulted in significant supply chain issues regarding critical medical supplies and equipment, especially personal protective equipment. Shortages in supplies such as N95 surgical masks and respirators, face shields, swabs, and ventilators put medical professionals at risk and delay an effective response to the ongoing crisis. This project will leverage advanced manufacturing capabilities at U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Laboratories, including additive manufacturing processes for metals, composites, and polymers, to facilitate accelerated production of these items. Manufacturing techniques will be integrated with materials modeling and characterization at DOE user facilities, including x-ray light and neutron sources, nanoscience centers, and computational facilities.

Manufacturing Highlights »

Molecular Design for Medical Therapeutics

The COVID-19 disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus is a pressing global emergency for which there are no approved medical therapeutic interventions beyond palliative care. This project is applying U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratory capabilities, including supercomputing and artificial intelligence, materials characterization at x-ray light and neutron sources, and nanoscience research, to accelerate scientific discovery for therapeutics targeting SARS-CoV-2.

Molecular Design Highlights »

COVID-19 Testing R&D

Until there is an effective vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, laboratory-based diagnostic tests are critical for protecting vulnerable populations, managing risk to all populations, supporting work strategies, and tracking the evolution of the virus and disease. Even with an effective vaccine, a new generation of tests will be required to monitor susceptibility, infection, and immunity. To address these challenges, the COVID-19 Testing R&D project is leveraging deep expertise at the U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratories in chemical analysis and biology to develop new approaches for improved diagnostic testing, including antigen and antibody testing.

COVID-19 Testing R&D Highlights »

Viral Fate and Transport

Significant capabilities across the DOE National Laboratories related to contaminant fate and transport support the emergency response to COVID-19. Experimentation combined with physics-based and data-driven modeling and simulation are being used to address the challenge of SARS-CoV-2 transport, transmission and fate. This research will provide critical data and modeling results to influence the response to the current crisis and understand factors involved in emergence, circulation and resurgence of pathogenic microbes.

Viral Fate and Transport Highlights »

Simulation on Demand

CARES Act funding provided support to allow the greater scientific community to have access to DOE high performance computing resources, including the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF) and the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF), and the National Energy Research Scientific Computing (NERSC) center, to enable simulations and models related to addressing the COVID-19 crisis. Improvements were also made in DOE’s high-resolution (census-track level) epidemiology modeling capability to capture specifics associated with COVID-19, including assessing multiple mitigation strategies (such as alternate work and school schedules, teleworking, masking, and social distancing), as well as modeling the emergence of multiple virus variants and a national vaccine strategy. These and other capabilities were used to support local, state, regional, and national decision makers via modeling and analysis of the impact of various scenarios on disease spread, including of school openings, correlations of school openings with business openings, effects of bar and restaurant closures, impact of local mitigation, and understanding the effect of variations in regional mitigation steps.