Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan have committed to spend $3 billion over the next decade to work on eradication of all diseases and accelerate basic scientific research.
With intent to cure, prevent and manage all diseases, Zuckerberg and Chan have spent the past two years speaking to scientists and other experts to plan the endeavour. In an interview, Zuckerberg emphasized “that this isn’t something where we just read a book and decided we’re going to do.
Through their philanthropic organisation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the commitment includes $600 million to fund a new research center, Biohub in San Francisco in collaboration with UC Berkeley and Stanford University. At new center, experts, scientific and medical researchers will work alongside engineers on planned projects.
“I’ve been with families where we’ve hit the limit of what’s possible through medicine and science,” Chan said. “I’ve had to tell families devastating diagnoses of leukemia, or that we just weren’t able to resuscitate their child.”
Zuckerberg and Chan hope that their effort will inspire other far-reaching efforts and collaboration in science, medicine and engineering, so that basic research is no longer relegated to the margins.
“We spend 50 times more on health care treating people who are sick than we spend on science research (to cure) diseases so that people don’t get sick in the first place,” Zuckerberg said.