Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has a new goal: funding technology that can find a cure for disease.
Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan, a pediatrician, announced Wednesday their plan to donate more than $3 billion over the next 10 years to fund the research and technology needed to eradicate “all disease” by the end of the 21st Century.
The donation, which will flow through the couple’s philanthropic foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, will help scientists to “cure, prevent or manage all diseases within our children’s lifetime,” Zuckerberg said in a Facebook post.
“It’s not hard to imagine the modern tools required to accelerate breakthroughs in today’s four major disease areas. So we’re going to focus on bringing scientists and engineers together to build these new tools and technologies,” Zuckerberg wrote.
The four main diseases he is referring to are: heart disease, cancer, infectious disease and neurological diseases such as stroke.
“The science initiative is a long term effort. We plan to invest billions of dollars over decades. But it will take years for these tools to be developed and longer to put them into full use. This is hard and we need to be patient, but it’s important,” he added. “This is about the future we want for our daughter and children everywhere. If there’s a chance that we can help cure all diseases in our children’s lifetime, then we will do our part. Together, we have a real shot at leaving the world a better place for our children than we found it.”
World-renowned neuroscience and genetic expert Dr. Cori Bargmann is partnering with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to take the lead on the project.
The first phase will be the creation of a Biohub. To get the new research hub rolling, the foundation is sinking $600 million into it to bring scientists and engineers together from Stanford, UCSF and Berkeley along with the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s engineering team. It is at this hub where the scientists and engineers will build new technology to prevent or better manage disease.
Wednesday’s announcement can be seen in the video below. Zuckerberg also posted an in-depth post on the initiative here.