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ORNL recognized the small businesses that have made a positive impact on ORNL’s operations at the virtual 2020 Small Business Awards. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Thirty-two Oak Ridge National Laboratory employees were named among teams recognized by former DOE Secretary Dan Brouillette with Secretary’s Honor Awards as he completed his term. Four teams received new awards that reflect DOE responses to the coronavirus pandemic.

Merlin Theodore holding N95 mask filtration material produced at DOE's Carbon Fiber Technology Facility

Three technologies developed by ORNL researchers have won National Technology Transfer Awards from the Federal Laboratory Consortium. One of the awards went to a team that adapted melt-blowing capabilities at DOE’s Carbon Fiber Technology Facility to enable the production of filter material for N95 masks in the fight against COVID-19.

Researchers at ORNL’s Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center partnered to design a COVID-19 screening whistle for convenient home testing. Credit: Michelle Lehman/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Collaborators at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center are developing a breath-sampling whistle that could make COVID-19 screening easy to do at home.

Paul Kent, shown above posing with Summit in April 2018, received the 2020 ORNL Director’s Award for Outstanding Individual Accomplishment in Science and Technology. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

The annual Director's Awards recognized four individuals and teams including awards for leadership in quantum simulation development and application on high-performance computing platforms, and revolutionary advancements in the area of microbial

Frontier supercomputer

A multi-institutional team, led by a group of investigators at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been studying various SARS-CoV-2 protein targets, including the virus’s main protease. The feat has earned the team a finalist nomination for the Association of Computing Machinery, or ACM, Gordon Bell Special Prize for High Performance Computing-Based COVID-19 Research.

An organic solvent and water separate and form nanoclusters on the hydrophobic and hydrophilic sections of plant material, driving the efficient deconstruction of biomass. Credit: Michelle Lehman/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Experiments led by researchers at ORNL have determined that several hepatitis C drugs can inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 main protease, a crucial protein enzyme that enables the novel coronavirus to reproduce.


NellOne Therapeutics has licensed a drug delivery system from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory that is designed to transport therapeutics directly to cells infected by SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19.

The first neutron structure of the SARS-CoV-2 main protease enzyme revealed unexpected electrical charges in the amino acids cysteine (negative) and histidine (positive), providing key data about the virus’s replication. Credit: Jill Hemman/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

To better understand how the novel coronavirus behaves and how it can be stopped, scientists have completed a three-dimensional map that reveals the location of every atom in an enzyme molecule critical to SARS-CoV-2 reproduction.

U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Mark Menezes (right) tours the DemeTECH N95 filter material production area with Xin Sun, ORNL interim associate laboratory director (center) and Craig Blue, ORNL advanced manufacturing program manager. Credit: US Dept. of Energy

A collaboration between the ORNL and a Florida-based medical device manufacturer has led to the addition of 500 jobs in the Miami area to support the mass production of N95 respirator masks.

Emma Betters Thumbnail

Growing up in Florida, Emma Betters was fascinated by rockets and for good reason. Any time she wanted to see a space shuttle launch from NASA’s nearby Kennedy Space Center, all she had to do was sit on her front porch.