Thursday, 22 September 2016

Mark Zuckerberg pledges $3bn to 'rid the world of all disease'

Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have laid out plans to invest $3bn over the next 10 years with the not insignificant goal of tackling all diseases.

“Can we cure, prevent or manage all disease by the end of this century?” asked Zuckerberg, speaking in front of a packed lecture theater at the University of California, San Francisco’s (UCSF) William J Rutter Center.
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will focus on some of the world’s biggest killers, including heart disease, cancer, infectious diseases and neurological diseases.

One of its biggest investments is to be a $600m “Biohub” at UCSF, which will bring together scientists and engineers from Stanford, Berkeley and UCSF – who haven’t collaborated in this way before – to develop tools to treat diseases.

The second focus will be transformative technology, all of which will be made available to all scientists everywhere.

“Throughout the history of science, most of the major scientific breakthroughs have been preceded by some new tool and technology that allows you to see in new ways,” explained Zuckerberg. “The telescope helped us understand astronomy and the universe, the microscope helped us understand cells and bacteria to help us develop treatments for infectious diseases, while DNA sequencing and editing helps us fight cancer and genetic disorders.”

Zuckerberg suggested that artificial intelligence could help with brain imaging to treat neurological diseases, machine learning could be used to analyse cancer genomes, and chips and blood monitors could identify diseases quickly. “These are the kinds of tools we want to focus on building at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative,” he said.

The acclaimed American neurobiologist Cornelia Bargmann, who will lead the initiative, gave the example of a “cell atlas”, a comprehensive resource that maps the locations, types and molecular properties of all of the cells in the human body.

“We need this to develop new understanding and cures for diseases in all areas of medicine,” she said.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is a limited liability company that the couple uses to make donations and investments to advance their philanthropic causes. It was launched at the birth of the couple’s first daughter, Max, in December 2015. The couple has committed 99% of their Facebook stock, valued at $45bn, to the initiative, which makes charitable donations and for-profit investments.

The organisation initially focused on education, funding the Indian company BYJU’s, which helps students learn maths and science, and the Nigerian company Andela, which trains African software developers. It has now turned its attention to science.

The organisation will achieve its objective by focusing on building tools and technology, bringing scientists from across the world together and growing a movement to fund more scientific research.

Source: The Guardian


  1. We don't need cure for diseases. We simply need means to avoid them such as good drinking water, healthy environment , sensitization of the population about the importance of eating healthy, and lots more. Bill and Melinda Gate started the same initiative and they brought Vaccines to Africa and India. These vaccines do have lots km after effects. Loom at what the Gates Foundation did to chad? It's obvious they are scared of the geometric rate which of population of Asia and Africa is growing. Statistics has shown that by 2030 , 40% of the world's Youth will be in Africa, just imagine what that can do to the African continent? They want to wipe us out, teach family planning and give us birth control pills , nahh. You want to cure diseases? Start first by helping the people avoid getting this diseases rather then rushing in to cure them

    1. Do ur own contribution to avoid the diseases. Ungrateful africans. He worked hard for his money and he can decide what ever he want to do with it.

  2. Anonymous,at time there is no need being emotional about certain things. @lionel mentioned some very good points. For the fact that someone is rich and thinks they can just shove their money/ideas onto people whom they think don't have a choice is certainly a mistake. Look at the greater picture and not just what you have before you. I am 500% certain if Africans are taught how to fish, they won't expect anything from anyone. Some of us already know the Black Race is in grave danger unless u need a looking glass for that. So rethink.