- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, pledged $3 billion over the next decade to create technology tools that will speed up basic research on diseases, The Wall Street Journal reported.
- The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the couple’s for-profit philanthropic arm, will initially spend $600 million to create a research lab in San Francisco where scientists and engineers can work together to prevent and cure diseases.
- Zuckerberg and Chan said the goal is to wipe out diseases worldwide by the end of the century.
The massive gift comes as a number of tech companies are trending to healthcare R&D.
Earlier this week, Microsoft revealed that it is exploring a range of advanced health technologies, including a cloud-based too that creates computerized models of biological processes associated with cancer progression. Other tech companies making waves in healthcare include IBM, with Watson Health, and Apple, which recently plucked up personal health record startup Gliimpse.
The planned lab — called the Biohub — will sit on the University of California-San Francisco Mission Bay campus. The investment will also help to fund 10 to 15 “virtual institutes” convening researchers from around the globe to tackle specific diseases and health goals, according to The Washington Post.
The overall initiative will be managed by Chan Zuckerberg Science, which will be led by Rockefeller University neuroscientist Cornelia Bargmann.
During a Wednesday event in San Francisco to announce the $3 billion investment, Zuckerberg hinted at the types of tools the effort may produce, including a map “of all the different kinds of cell types in our body and the different states” that could be referenced by researchers developing new drugs, according to The Wall Street Journal. He also mentioned the potential for a chip that could diagnose any infectious disease.