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Mark Zuckerberg, Priscilla Chan to invest $3 billion to fund research & cure diseases

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 10 February 2017, 1:47 IST

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has pledged to invest $3 billion toward science research and curing diseases under the Chan-Zuckerberg initiative. The initiative will spend the amount over the next decade to cure and manage human diseases.

In a Facebook blogpost, Zuckerberg said:

"Priscilla and I have spent the last few years talking to dozens of top scientists and experts who believe it's possible to cure, prevent or manage all diseases by the end of this century. That doesn't mean no one will ever get sick, but it does that mean that we'll get sick a lot less, and that when we do, we'll always be able to identify and treat the problem, or at least manage it as a non-harmful condition."

"........Today, most people die from four kinds of diseases: heart disease (10.8 million, 19.2%), cancer (8.2 million, 14.6%), infectious disease (8.5 million, 15.1%) and neurological disease like stroke (6.8 million, 12.1%). Of the rest, almost half are due to accidents and injuries (5.8 million, 10.3%) or otherwise unrelated to disease (3.1 million, 5.5%). This gives us an idea of where to focus to start."

The Chan-Zuckerberg initiative will invest $600 million in a project called Biohub, which is an independent research center located at the University of California in San Francisco (UCSF).

At the UCSF, Chan spoke about the future everyone wants for their children. "If we can bring scientists and engineers together to build the right tools, then we can accelerate breakthroughs on the major diseases, and we can continue until there are no more left," the blogpost reads.

This is a long-term effort and it will take years to develop the first tools and more time to finally implement those tools to eradicate those diseases.

First published: 22 September 2016, 1:34 IST