The fight to end disease goes viral.
Building a better future for the next generation will not be easy. That’s why Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan vowed Wednesday to make an investment that they hope will mean a healthier future for all.
In San Francisco, Chan and Zuckerberg pledged to spend $3 billion over the next 10 years with the goal to “cure, prevent or manage all disease within our children’s lifetime.”
“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,” Chan said. “We want to push back that boundary.”
The couple said that their plan would focus on four categories of diseases: heart disease, infectious diseases, cancer and neurological disease. And they cited advances in technology as the likely catalyst behind curing those diseases.
During the event, the pair said that they consulted dozens of scientists about the best way to create change.
While $3 billion could help on some level with preventing diseases, there is already over $200 billion spent on biomedical research annually. And the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has an annual budget of $32 billion.
However, funding for the agency has flatlined over the past few years. And the money from Chan and Zuckerberg will specifically go towards funding basic biomedical technology research with the hopes that it will lead to a major breakthrough. For example, they will provide $600 million to Biohub, a bioscience research center, which will create a chip intended to diagnose diseases.
“I always love seeing you give back, because you know I believe life is all about what we give, not what we make,” former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote in response to Zuckerberg’s Facebook post. “This project sounds fantastic for all of humankind, and I know with your genius behind it you will accomplish your goals.”