The COVID-19 pandemic has precipitated an extraordinary response from the global scientific community. Early studies addressed urgent questions about the clinical course of infection, risk factors for severe disease, impacts of non-pharmaceutical interventions, and molecular methods of diagnosis. Major successes followed including the development of effective treatments and vaccines, but new challenges have also emerged such as how to ensure equitable access to vaccines, understanding the impacts of viral variants, waning immunity, and post-COVID-19 condition.

Nature Communications has sought to support the pandemic response through publication of high-quality, timely work across the spectrum of COVID-19 research. Our editorial describes the publishing processes we have used to facilitate this, and identifies some emerging topics that we hope to contribute to in the coming months. Here, we highlight some of our most impactful and innovative articles to date.

Several brightly-coloured face masks on a white surface

Immunology and vaccines

Pathology and therapy

Epidemiology and public health

Molecular and structural biology