World’s X-ray facilities team up to battle COVID-19

World’s X-ray facilities team up to battle COVID-19

Leaders from the world’s best X-ray facilities, including Argonne’s Advanced Photon Source, have developed a strategy for cooperatively combating COVID-19.

The best and brightest X-ray science facilities in the world are working together to help in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Numbered among them is the Advanced Photon Source (APS), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility at DOE‘s Argonne National Laboratory.

In April, leadership of the world’s X-ray science facilities, including APS Director Stephen Streiffer, convened for a virtual summit. Below is the action plan developed at this summit, outlining how these facilities will work together to share information about COVID-19. The APS continues to welcome research groups working to learn more about the virus that causes COVID-19 and lay the groundwork for treatments and vaccines.

COVID-19 affects all of us, and I’m proud to be working with our international colleagues as we pool our resources to combat this pandemic,” Streiffer said.

Read more on Argonne’s work to fight the coronavirus.

The COVID-19 pandemic is, more than ever, uniting scientists and the X-ray Science Facilities worldwide, in their sorrow for the loss of life and the suffering the virus has caused for the people around the world. They also express heartfelt admiration and lasting gratitude to all front-line health workers for their tireless dedication to treating the people impacted by the pandemic.

The international network of X-ray Science Facilities, composed of the X-ray Synchrotron Radiation and X-ray Free Electron Laser Facilities, is deeply engaged with overcoming the pandemic. The X-ray Science Facilities’ role is to create and implement scientific and technological research activities to effectively study, understand and contribute solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, including new drugs, therapeutic strategies and medical equipment developments.

This engagement has already started worldwide, and many X-ray Science Facilities are carrying out research focused on the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and making available their instruments with rapid access and remote channels to scientists desiring to address specific COVID-19 research topics.

The X-ray Science Facilities gathered to align intents and strategies on development of alliances between universities, industry and facilities” at their first SR9 Summit, which was held in Sendai, Japan in April 2019.

The X-ray Science Facilities, with the intent to further coordinate and strengthen their support of scientific research and solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, assembled for a remote access video SR20 Summit April 2324. They shared their experience on facility activities in the recent weeks, and decided to develop a cooperative strategy across all facilities worldwide to work jointly to overcome the pandemic.

The X-ray Science Facilities adopted the following action plan:

  1. Share information and contribute to the coordination of efforts across all X-ray Science Facilities on scientific research addressing the COVID-19 pandemic
  2. Explore the establishment of a worldwide X-ray Science Facilities network including university and industrial users for a comprehensive mobilization of facilities
  3. Study the development of a shared IT system to accelerate the process of information distribution, favor global cooperation among facilities and enable the most rapid and effective access for scientific projects across facilities
  4. Exchange experience on remote access and sample mail-in procedures by the user community to maintain and strengthen experimental activities without user travel
  5. Coordinate efforts of the X-ray Science Facilities with those of other analytical facilities as, for example, those using neutrons, cryo-electron-microscopy, lasers and nuclear magnetic resonance