The Serological Sciences Network, or SeroNet, is a collaboration to enhance understanding of the immune response to the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. SeroNet supports research projects in basic and applied serological research related to COVID-19 and increasing the nation’s serological testing capacity.
U.S. SARS-CoV-2 Serology Standard requests from industry, government and academic laboratories worldwide.

The National Cancer Institute’s Serological Sciences Network (SeroNet) is the nation’s largest coordinated effort to study the immune response to COVID-19 and increase the nation’s antibody testing capacity.  

SeroNet is a collaboration across 26 biomedical research institutions to enhance understanding of the immune response to the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. 

SeroNet launched in October 2020, less than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic. It aims to answer critical questions regarding serology and the pandemic. 

SeroNet is a major component of the National Cancer Institute’s response to COVID-19. In April 2020, the National Cancer Institute received an emergency appropriation of $306 million from Congress to develop, validate, and implement serological testing and associated technologies. More than half of the funding is devoted to SeroNet. 

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In early 2021, the Frederick National Laboratory supported the development and production of the Human SARS-CoV-2 Serology Standard for calibration in COVID-19 studies conducted around the U.S. and world. 

Lab scientists have worked with the National Cancer Institute, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, other government agencies, and universities to develop sample evaluation panels to evaluate the performance (sensitivity and specificity) of antibody tests developed by external organizations before they are made available to the public.  

Researcher Resource

Request the Human SARS-CoV-2 Serology Standard

The Human SARS-CoV-2 Serology Standard is a pool of plasma from four donors with antibodies IgM and IgG to the SARS-CoV-2 spike and nucleocapsid proteins.


SeroNet’s mission is to better understand the immune responses to COVID-19, to develop assays to test for coronavirus antibodies, and to share findings globally from its myriad studies. 

Addressing the many unknowns regarding COVID-19 

SeroNet aims to answer questions and further the understanding of SARS-CoV-2.  ​​

  • If a person has antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, are they protected against reinfection? 

  • What level of antibodies is associated with protection? 

  • How long does protection last? 

  • Why is it that some people exposed to SARS-CoV-2  become ill while others also exposed do not? 

  • Why do symptoms vary in severity? 

Increase antibody testing

  • Develop quantitative serological assays to test for COVID-19 antibodies. 

  • Conduct serosurveillance studies to understand how much of the population has antibodies to COVID-19. 

  • Test at least 5,000 samples per week. 

Develop serology standards 

The COVID-19 Serology Laboratory has developed SARS-CoV-2 serology standards and protocols to ensure integrity and reproducibility across SeroNet’s studies.  

Collaborating on COVID-19

Stay up-to-date with SeroNews

SeroNews is the quarterly newsletter from the Clinical and Translational Serology Task Force and NCI Serological Sciences Network. Each edition includes clinical and translational serology highlights.


The National Cancer Institute’s SeroNet is a network of investigators and laboratories across the United States to combat the COVID-19 pandemic by improving the ability to test for infection, especially among diverse populations, and to speed the development of treatments and vaccines. The network is comprised of three categories of partners. Frederick National Laboratory teams coordinate the collaboration with oversight from the National Cancer Institute.

FNL COVID-19 Serology Laboratory

The Frederick National Laboratory COVID-19 Serology Laboratory shares its expertise, establishes standards, and facilitates SeroNet goals, coordinating efforts between SeroNet collaborators and the National Cancer Institute Clinical Translational Serology Taskforce.

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SeroNet Coordinating Center

The Frederick National Laboratory’s Vaccine, Immunity, and Cancer Directorate manages the SeroNet Coordinating Center, which facilitates communication, fosters collaboration across the network, and provides logistical support.

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Capacity Building Centers

The Frederick National Laboratory engaged four research institutions designated as SeroNet Capacity Building Centers to develop serological assays to test for coronavirus antibodies and conduct serosurveillance studies.

Centers of Excellence

The National Cancer Institute awarded funding to eight Serological Sciences Centers of Excellence to conduct research projects focused on characterizing immune responses to COVID-19, disease progression and protection from infection.  

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Research Projects

The National Cancer Institute also awarded Research Projects in SARS-CoV-2 Serological Sciences to 13 institutions to conduct basic and applied serological research. 

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NCI Clinical Translational Serology Task Force

The task force brings together government, academia, and industry to provide relevant tools and information related to serology testing to help decision makers manage the current and future status of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. It promotes communication and coordination between SeroNet investigators and other organizations engaged in SARS-CoV-2 serological science research.

The task force includes scientists from several disciplines, clinicians, regulatory and public policy experts, and patient advocates. FNL's Ligia Pinto, Ph.D. is a co-chair on the task force.