Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan want to rid the world of all diseases: The couple’s Chan Zuckerberg Initiative announced an ambitious goal of curing, managing or preventing all diseases by the end of the century Wednesday.
“Today, just four kinds of diseases cause the majority of deaths. We can make progress on all of them with the right technology,” Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook immediately following the announcement. “This is about the future we want for our daughter and children everywhere.”
To accomplish this, the initiative is going to invest at least $3 billion into scientific research over the next decade, including a $600 million investment into what’s being called the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub — a new interdisciplinary research center that is being formed in cooperation with the Standford University as well as the UC San Francisco and the UC Berkeley.
One of the Biohub’s first projects will be a map of all human cells, which will be freely shared with researchers around the world.
Chan and Zuckerberg first announced their initiative last December, and at the time pledged to give away 99 percent of their Facebook stock during their lifetime.
However, the initiative is not actually a non-profit or a foundation. Instead, it is incorporated as a limited liability company, which means that the couple can use it for political lobbying or investments in private companies. The initiative’s initial focus has been education, with investments going to education startups.