Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan have pledged $3 billion over the next decade to help researchers “cure, prevent, or manage all disease” in the next 80 years. Announcing the news at a press conference Wednesday, Zuckerberg said the ultimate goal of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is to eradicate disease “by the end of this century.” Zuckerberg said the pair spent the last two years speaking to researchers and scientists about the initiative, noting that “this isn’t something where we just read a book and decided we’re going to do.” About $600 million of the pledged funds will go to building a new facility in San Francisco where scientists will work alongside engineers in both conducting basic research and creating new diagnostic tools. Chan’s work as a pediatrician motivated her to make such a decision, she said. “I’ve been with families where we’ve hit the limit of what’s possible through medicine and science,” Chan said. “I’ve had to tell families devastating diagnoses of leukemia, or that we just weren’t able to resuscitate their child.” The initiative will be headed by Cori Bargmann, a highly regarded neuroscientist.
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