The National Cancer Institute was directed by Congress "to develop, validate, improve, and implement serological testing and associated technologies" to characterize the immune responses elicited by SARS-CoV-2 viral infection.
As part of the response, the institute established Serological Sciences Centers of Excellence and Serological Sciences Research Projects with the common goal of identifying and advancing research opportunities to:
- characterize the immune responses elicited by SARS-CoV-2 viral infection;
- understand the mechanisms driving the serological, humoral and cellular immune responses;
- determine host, genetic, and environmental modifiers of the immune response;
- determine the serological correlates of disease pathogenesis and protection against future infection; and
- define access, communication, and implementation barriers related to SARS-CoV-2 serological testing.
These Serological Sciences Centers of Excellence (RFA-CA-20-038) and Serological Sciences Research Projects (RFA-CA-20-039) are part of a Serological Sciences Network (SeroNet) that will collaborate with investigators across a Network of grant and contract-funded COVID serology-related projects. All components are expected to collaborate across the entire Network, sharing data, results, and reagents.
Two of the awarded Centers of Excellence and four of the Serological Sciences Research Projects are being supported through Division of Cancer Prevention, because of expertise and experience in immunology, inflammatory, and antibody research.