Mark Zuckerberg and his pediatrician wife, Priscilla Chan, took to the stage at UC San Francisco today to announce their latest philanthropic effort: $3 billion for life sciences and health research called “Chan Zuckerberg science.”
The first initiative that will be spun out is a $600 million “Biohub” led by UCSF’s Joe DeRisi and Stanford’s Stephen Quake. Few details are known about this initiative, but Zuckerberg did say that the nonprofit Chan Zuckerberg Initiative would be hiring a “world class engineering team.”
The three main goals of the initiative in the coming years include:
* Building new tools for researchers and scientists.
* Bringing together scientists.
* Building a movement to help fund more scientific research.
Areas of interest that Zuckerberg pointed to include: machine learning tools to mine genomic data for insights; continuous monitoring of glucose and other biomarkers; artificial intelligence technology to better understand neurological diseases.
Zuckerberg stressed before leaving the stage that it will take time before patients benefit from any new technologies. “We’ll invest billions over many decades but it’ll take years before new cures are built, and many years after that before they are used to cure disease,” says Zuckerberg. “This is hard stuff.”
Zuckerberg: "Our society spends 50x more treating people who are sick than we spend on finding cures to prevent people from getting sick"
— Christina Farr (@chrissyfarr) September 21, 2016