Neutron scattering senior scientist Andrey Kovalevsky’s research into COVID-19 was featured in the webinar about scientific user facilities hosted by the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science.

In his presentation, Kovalevsky discussed the extensive resources and multi-institutional approach he and his many colleagues within DOE used to combat the SARS-CoV-2 main protease, the enzyme responsible for allowing the virus to reproduce. Beginning with neutron and x-ray examinations of the protease at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL) Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) and High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR), Kovalevsky traced the steps the researchers took that ultimately led them to developing novel antiviral drug molecules that could be used to treat people infected with COVID-19.

From beamlines and microscopes, to test tubes, supercomputers, and more, watch Kovalevsky’s fascinating presentation and stay for the presentations that follow from the other DOE-sponsored research on the foundations for forefront energy, microelectronics, and low-carbon manufacturing.


SNS and HFIR are DOE Office of Science user facilities. UT-Battelle LLC manages ORNL for the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. The Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit—by Jeremy Rumsey