Mark Zuckerberg, Priscilla Chan pledge $3 billion to striking down disease

The couple has asked the question: Can we eradicate all diseases in our children's lifetime?


Power couple Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan have pledged to invest at least $3 billion in the fight against disease.

At a conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, Dr. Chan said that the investment into disease research and cure development will come from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the limited liability company which holds 99 percent of the husband and wife teams' Facebook shares, pledged last year to charitable causes.

At the time, Zuckerberg wrote in a letter to his daughter Max that "medicine has only been a real science for less than 100 years," and both he and his wife wanted to "do their part" in combating heath issues, "advancing human potential" and "promoting equality".

As reported by the New York Times, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will invest billions over the next decade in disease prevention, cures, and management.

"We want to dramatically improve every life in Max's generation and make sure we don't miss a single soul," Chan said during the event. "We'll be investing in basic science research with the goal of curing disease."

The move into disease research will be led by Rockefeller University neuroscientist Cori Bargmann. In partnership with Stanford, the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California, San Francisco, the "Chan Zuckerberg Biohub" research center will be established in San Francisco.

The lab will receive a $600 million funding injection over the next decade to get started.

As noted by the Wall Street Journal, the research initiative will focus on developing tools which can be used in disease management, prevention, and cures. With the right tools at hand, in the same way that microscopes and DNA sequencing has pushed forward medical knowledge, scientists will be "empowered" and able to make faster progress, Zuckerberg said at the conference.

The Facebook co-founder said that equipment including cell type maps, genome sequences, and chips able to diagnose disease could be future projects.