Lightsource research on SARS-CoV-2

Coronaviruses are a family which includes the common cold, SARS, MERS and the current outbreak of the disease COVID-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Several facilities of our collaboration have started research about SARS-CoV-2 virus or launched open calls for rapid access. This post will be updated regularly.


Diamond Light Source (UK) has created a specific website “Coronavirus Science” with platforms for various audiences: scientific community, general public and the media:

The Photon Division of PSI (Switzerland) have collated many information linked to their institute on coronavirus-relevant research (recent publications, rapid access…):

2020.03.25 CERN Courrier (Switzerland) article about synchrotron research on SARS-CoV-2, written by Tessa Charles (accelerator physicist at the University of Melbourne currently based at CERN, completed her PhD at the Australian Synchrotron):
Synchrotrons on the coronavirus frontline

2020.03.19 BESSY II at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (Germany), research publication:
Coronavirus SARS-CoV2: BESSY II data accelerate drug development

2020.03.19 BESSY II at Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (Germany), technique explanation webpage:
Protein crystallography at BESSY II: A mighty tool for the search of anti-viral agents

2020.03.16 Diamond Light Source (UK), latest article on their “Coronavirus Science” website:
Main protease structure and XChem fragment screen

2020.03.12. Elettra Sincrotrone (Italy), article on their website:
New project to fight the spread of Coronavirus has been approved

2020.03.05. Advanced Photon Source (IL / USA), article on their website:
APS Coronavirus Research in the Media Spotlight

Rapid access

Scientists can apply for rapid access at following facilities (only member facilities of are referenced, the most recent published (or updated) call is mentioned first).

  • The National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) in NY / USA is offering a streamlined and expedited rapid access proposal process for groups that require beam time for structural biology projects directly related to COVID-19. The Center for Biomolecular Structure team is supporting remote macromolecular crystallography experiments at Beamlines 17-ID-1 (AMX) and 17-ID-2 (FMX) in this research area. To submit a macromolecular crystallography proposal for COVID-19 related research, use the following form:

Image: Electron density at the active site of the SARS-CoV-2 protease, revealing a fragment bound
Credit: Diamond Light Source