Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan donate money to help the fight against incurable diseases
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook, and his spouse, Priscilla Chan, have decided to donate as much as $600 million to organizations searching for new cures and medical improvements. Their funds will be used to build and run a new research facility in San Francisco, where scientists and doctors are working to find cures for rare and hereditary diseases.
“Imagine if we could cure all disease in our children’s lifetime!”, Zuckerberg hailed during a press conference at the UCSF Mission Bay campus on Wednesday morning. Wearing his recognizable gray t-shirt, blue jeans and gray sneakers, Zuckerberg announced his new goal and revealed his plan to create a world without diseases.
“The biggest breakthroughs take time” he told the crowd. “This is about the future we all want for our children. If there’s even a chance that we can help cure all diseases in our children’s lifetime … then we’re going to do our part.”
Accompanied by his wife, Priscilla Chan, Zuckerberg announced he had created a brand new company with the sole purpose of researching rare diseases and developing effective, yet affordable cures for them.
Their plan is to gradually invest as much as $3 billion over the next decade toward disease prevention and new research methods. The first step will be to build a new research facility, called the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub in San Francisco.The facility will be a joint venture among three Bay Area universities – UCSF, Stanford and the University of California.
Chan explained their goal will require three areas of focus: bringing scientists and engineers together, building the necessary tools and technology, and growing awareness so that more investors and benefactors decide to provide their support.
The Biohub is Zuckerberg’s and Chan’s first and biggest investment, and perhaps the noblest. The couple is famous for their charity work and vows to give away as much as 99 percent of their wealth to humanitarian organizations and hospitals.
Zuckerberg has confirmed he is shifting his focus on human research and gradually selling some of his Facebook stocks to fund his new projects.
Microsoft founder and CEO, Bill Gates, praised the young couple’s struggle to improve the world and eliminate diseases. “We need more science,” Gates said, sharing a story about shared frustration with Zuckerberg around the lack of vaccines during the Ebola epidemic a few years back in Africa. “I think all of us will be proud to say that we were here on the day that Mark and Priscilla started this journey.”