COVID-19 Scientific Interest Group

Scanning electron microscope image showing SARS-CoV-2 emerging from the surface of cells

This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (blue/pink) cultured in the lab.


The COVID-19 Scientific Interest Group was created in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This interest group aims to promote collaboration and facilitate the exchange of information and resources among NIH intramural scientists and their HHS colleagues concerning research on COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2.

Since 2020, we have had over 50 lectures given by global experts from within and outside of the NIH across a vast array of areas relevant to COVID-19 biology, epidemiology, treatment, prevention, and other important topics. We are an active scientific interest group, reaching over 1200 individuals a week as of January, 2024; our listserv provides information about lectures, new COVID-19 literature, and serves as a forum for discussion. Additionally, we have held three virtual research workshops (2020, 2022, 2023). These events aim to inform the NIH and FDA communities on current research conducted by our scientists, and to foster communication and collaboration between those with interest in SARS-CoV-2.

Main Areas of Focus

  • The virology of SARS-CoV-2 including viral genome, viral protein structure/function relationships, and viral pathogenesis
  • The resulting disease of SARS-CoV-2 infection called COVID-19. Areas of interest include animal models of COVID-19, clinical manifestations in patients, disease biomarkers, long-term effects of COVID-19, and therapeutics including biologics, small molecules, and vaccines.

Lecture Series

The COVID-19 SIG lecture series facilitates communication of the ongoing scientific research to understand SARS-CoV-2 and treat COVID-19. Invited speakers share the latest research on a broad range of topics, including clinical findings, therapeutics, basic biology, epidemiology, and public health research. This lecture series runs from October through June.

See archived and upcoming lectures

Resources for Researchers

The COVID-19 SIG has developed an inventory and dashboard of COVID-19 projects for NIH as well as list of resources available to researchers at NIH and otherwise to assist in research on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19.

See the full list of COVID-19 SIG Resources

Research in NIH Labs

The COVID-19 Scientific Interest Group, in collaboration with the Trans-NIH Preclinical Working Group, created an NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP) inventory and dashboard of COVID-19 projects. Currently, this dashboard can be accessed only by NIH leadership and the researchers who contributed information to it. 

COVID SIG also offers lists open to the public.

Access the dashboard and other lists of COVID-19 research at NIH

Images of COVID-19


Contact Information

COVID-19 SIG created an email listserv in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 outbreak intended for NIH scientists to exchange information concerning research on COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2.

See more about the listserv and other ways of contacting COVID-19 SIG.

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