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

A graphic showing the scope of work and collaborating labs that participate in SeroNet, with the Frederick National Laboratory Serology Lab and Coordinating Center in the middle

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. 

Frederick National Laboratory Serology Laboratory 

The COVID-19 Serology Laboratory shares its expertise, establishes standards, and facilitates SeroNet goals under the leadership of Ligia Pinto, Ph.D. 

Pinto and the Serology Laboratory staff coordinate efforts between SeroNet collaborators and the National Cancer Institute Clinical Translational Serology Taskforce. Pinto and Carlos Cardon-Cardo, Ph.D. from the Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai are co-chairs of the taskforce.

Serological Sciences Network Coordinating Center

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

  • Managing samples 
  • Organizing meetings and workshops 
  • Coordinating scientific activities 
  • Overseeing biospecimen banking and distribution 
  • Managing data and communications across SeroNet 

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.  

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. 

National Cancer Institute Clinical Translational Serology Taskforce 

The National Cancer Institute established a taskforce to catalyze translation of research findings into public health changes. The task force brings together government, academia and industry to provide relevant tools and information related to serology testing to help decisionmakers manage the current and future status of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The task force includes scientists from several disciplines, clinicians, regulatory and public policy experts, and patient advocates. Taskforce goals include: 

  • Promoting communication and coordination between SeroNet investigators and other organizations engaged in SARS-CoV-2 serological science research. 
  • Implementation of standards for assay standardization and harmonization across the clinical and translational serology community. 
  • Fostering international collaborations and outreach to clinical and public health organizations, including with the World Health Organization
  • Developing partnerships with national and international COVID-19 clinical, epidemiological and translation serology teams, as well as vaccine networks to ensure harmonization and the necessary rigor and reproducibility of serology testing.