Somebody ought to find the cure for all disease. Or at least the means to do so. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, together with his wife Priscilla Chan who is a pediatrician, might just be the one.
The couple has launched a cause in September 2016 called the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) which has the goal “to cure, prevent or manage all disease during our children’s lifetime”. It is a big initiative worth US$3 billion.
Now, both have tapped dozens of scientists in order to meet the goal by the end of the 21st century. These bright people, a total of 47 in all selected from over 700 applicants, compose a medical research organization called Biohub.
It has been announced that the 47 scientists have been provided with $50 million of funds to study the cure for all disease. The money will be distributed to each of them, getting $1.5 million at most.
Biohub is a diverse group of scientists, technologists, engineers whose work vary from imaging cells, developing biochip technology, and studying the transmission of malaria. They come from three key premier research universities Berkley, UCF, and Stanford.
According to the organization, the three university partners provide the very backbone of Biohub’s work.
“Our investigators come from these outstanding research institutions, and their faculty will be an integral part of our day-to-day operations here at Biohub,” it said. More scientists from other research institutions will be added on to Biohub as the organization grows.
The selection of the 47 people focused on a central thesis. Stephen Quake, co-president of the Biohub, tells Business Insider that it is on new technologies and the basic science and mechanisms behind the disease.
Quake admits that this is an uphill battle. “Finding ways to change directions and climb new mountains is really hard to do,” he says.
“We want to take on things that are too risky,” he adds, referring to the fact that they might not get other funding sources to be interested in this endeavor.
All of the investigators get to keep their roles and jobs at their respective universities but Quake expects that the best scientists and engineers they got will come up with surprising discoveries.
That’s not difficult to achieve with the massive support being given by the founders of Biohub.
“Both Mark and Priscilla are avid consumers of science,” says Biohub co-president and UCSF professor Joseph DeRisi. “They enjoy learning new things and knowing what the cutting edge of research is all about.”
Sources: Business Insider | Science Alert