Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have pledged more than $3 billion towards a plan to cure all diseases in the lifetime of their 10-month-old daughter.
The Facebook CEO and his wife, who pledged to give away 99 per cent of their wealth to good causes last year, said they will invest the $3 billion (2.3bn) into research on curing the world’s diseases through their philanthropy organization, The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
At a press event in San Francisco on Wednesday, Priscilla Chan said: “By investing in science today, we hope to build a future in which all of our children can build long and rewarding lives.”
Zuckerberg said The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is already ‘building a world-class engineering team’ to help scientists and experts research diseases.
The goal, which they are unlikely to see accomplished in their lifetime, is to ‘cure, prevent or manage all disease’ in the next 80 or so years, Business Insider reports.
Zuckerberg said in an interview with Associated Press:
So if you even just assume that we’ll be able to continue to make progress on that same trajectory, then that implies that by the end of this century we will have been able to solve most of these types of things.
Priscilla and I just shared our next major focus for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.
Can we help scientists to cure,…
Zuckerberg emphasised ‘that this isn’t something where we just read a book and decided we’re going to do.’
He said: “We spend 50 times more on health care treating people who are sick than we spend on science research (to cure) diseases so that people don’t get sick in the first place.”
“Today, just four kinds of diseases cause the majority of deaths,” Zuckerberg added in a posting on his Facebook page, citing cancer, heart disease, infectious diseases and neurological diseases, adding: “We can make progress on all of them with the right technology.”
As part of the investment, a $600m research center in San Francisco called the Biohub will be built in partnership with Stanford, the University of California, and Berkeley.
What an amazing step forward for scientific research on disease.