Mark Zuckerberg's Nonprofit Has Hired 47 Scientists to Cure Diseases

Launched with a $3 billion in September 2016, the foundation's aim is to help 'cure all disease' by the end of the 21st century,

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan.
 Getty Images

Mark Zuckerberg's wildly ambitious plan to treat and cure all diseases has made a step forward with the announcement that it is funding dozens of scientists over the next five years.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) is an organization run by the Facebook cofounder and pediatrician Priscilla Chan, his wife. Launched with a $3 billion (£2.4 billion) cheque book in September 2016, its aim is to help "cure all disease" by the end of the twenty-first century, with a focus on investing in long-term scientific research that wouldn't necessarily pay off straight away.

Part of the CZI is the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, a medical research organization--and on Wednesday, the Biohub announced it is providing $50 million (£40 million) in funding to researchers, TechCrunch reports.

The cash is going to 47 different people, to fund their research for the next five years with up to $1.5 million (£1.2 million) each. (More than 700 people applied for the funding.) These investigators are looking into a range of areas, from imaging cells to developing biochip technologies and studying the transmission of malaria.

The Chan Zuckerberg Biohub is partnered with three universities -; Berkley, UCF, and Stanford. "Our three university partners provide the very backbone of Biohub's work," the organisation said. "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." As Biohub grows, it will also look to work with other research institutions.

"Both Mark and Priscilla are avid consumers of science," Biohub co-president and UCSF professor Joseph DeRisi told BuzzFeed News. "They enjoy learning new things and knowing what the cutting edge of research is all about."

"We are conducting research that helps solve big health problems. We find and support the best and brightest biologists, scientists, engineers and technologists. Our culture emphasizes intellectual freedom and collaboration," the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub says. "We provide our team with the best scientific tools - and when the right tools don't exist, we will invent them."

This post originally appeared on Business Insider.

Feb 8, 2017
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