The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative just announced a new program informally called Chan Zuckerberg Science to invest $3 billion over the next decade to help cure, prevent, or manage all disease. The money comes from the $45 billion organization Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan started last year to advance human potential and equality. The project will bring together teams of scientists and engineers “to build new tools for the scientific community” Priscilla Chan said on stage at an event in San Francisco.
Part of the $3 billion will go to a $600 million investment in Biohub, a new physical location that will unite researchers from Stanford, Berkeley, and UCSF with elite engineers to find new ways to treat disease.
“We’ll be investing in basic science research with the goal of curing disease”, Chan explained. “As a pediatrician I’ve worked with families at the most difficult moments of their lives” Chan said, shedding tears on stage as she recounted people hearing a loved one had cancer. Chan Zuckerberg Science will seek to eliminate those moments.
Mark Zuckerberg came out on stage to identify the core health problems facing the world, and how the new program will address them.
The majority of deaths are caused by heart disease, infectious disease, neurological disease, and cancer, so those are the areas where the program will concentrate its efforts.
The roadmap for the program includes three parts:
- Bring scientists and engineers together
- Build tools and technology
- Grow the movement to fund science
Zuckerberg showed visible gusto, noting how our country spends 50x more on treating people who are sick than curing diseases so people don’t get sick. “We can do better than that!” he exclaimed. To change this, Zuckerberg explained there must be a shift towards long-term thinking for research that requires more funding than typical academic grants can sustain. That’s where his $45 billion fortune comes in.
Cori Bargmann, a neuroscientist from The Rockefeller University and the new head of Chan Zuckerberg’s science program, came out to explain how the $3 billion will be spent.