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Facebook CEO Zuckerberg, wife vow $3 billion to 'end all diseases'

The funding is from the Chan-Zuckerberg initiative, Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, a philanthropic group started by the couple. Photograph: (Getty)

San Francisco, CA, United States Sep 22, 2016, 02.53 AM (IST)
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, along with his wife Priscilla Chan, will spend USD 3 billion in the coming decade "to eradicate all the diseases by the end of this century". 

The goal is to "work together to cure, prevent or manage all diseases within our children's lifetime, " a tearful Chan, who is a paediatrician herself, said while announcing the initiative at a San Francisco event.

She stressed that she hoped to spare parents the pain she had seen while delivering difficult news as a doctor. 

"In those moments and in many others we're at the limit of what we understand about the human body and disease, the science behind medicine, the limit of our ability to alleviate suffering. We want to push back that boundary," she was quoted as saying by Reuters.

According to Indian news agency PTI, the investments will include creating research tools  from software to hardware to yet-undiscovered techniques that the couple hopes will ultimately lead to scientific breakthroughs, the way the microscope and DNA sequencing have in the past.
 
The initiative would kickstart with a USD 600 million investment for a new research facility called the Chan-Zuckerberg Biohub in San Francisco.

Zuckerberg, 32, said the initiative was to "make a better future for our children."

The couple spoke one after the other at the UCSF Mission Bay campus to unveil the next phase of the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, a philanthropic group started by the couple. 

The event was attended by business and political luminaries including former Microsoft Corp Chairman Bill Gates, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom.

"The biggest breakthroughs take many years. 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," the Facebook CEO said. 

The initiative would kickstart with a USD 600 million investment for a new research facility called the Chan-Zuckerberg Biohub in San Francisco.

The facility is a joint partnership among three Bay Area universities: UCSF, Stanford and the University of California.

According to the husband-wife duo, the goal would require three areas of focus: bringing scientists and engineers together, more collaboration in the field of science and building tools, more advanced technology, growing the movement and more funding for other projects.

Biohub is the first major investment from the couple, who announced last December that they would give away 99 per cent of their wealth, reported PTI. 

(WION with inputs from agencies) 


 
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