On Wednesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan made a $3 billion pledge to “cure, prevent or manage all disease within our children’s lifetime” with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. The couple announced their initiative at an event in San Francisco, Reuters reports.
“In those moments and in many others we’re at the limit of what we understand about the human body and disease, the science behind medicine, the limit of our ability to alleviate suffering,” said Chan. “We want to push back that boundary.”
In looking to the future, Zuckerberg pointed to the past. “Today, just four kinds of diseases cause the majority of deaths,” he said in a Facebook post. “We can make progress on all of them with the right technology.” Zuckerberg cited his confidence in a Facebook note, saying that diseases such as smallpox have been nearly eradicated without the use of modern technology and that the medical community has made rapid advancements in the last 50 years.
The couple promised $600 million over the next decade to a bioresearch center called the Biohub. The San Francisco-based Biohub is charged with developing a chip to monitor bloodstream activity and diagnose disease in children.
Biohub, led by UCSF professor Joseph DeRisi and Stanford University professor Stephen Quake, will carry out a cell-mapping project called Cell Atlas and the Infectious Disease Initiative to help fight diseases such as “HIV, Ebola, and Zika.” Rockefeller University neuroscientist Dr. Cori Bargmann has been charged with oversight of the Chan Zuckerberg Intiative.