Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan launched an ambitious project last September that aims to make the world disease free within their children’s lifetime. Biohub, a $3-billion investment project of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, has been working towards this goal.
In a recent Facebook post, Zuckerberg shared a photo of the initiative’s science team, and commented on some of the group’s goals:
The initiative’s science board consists of experts from Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and UCSF, with Rockefeller neuroscientist Dr. Cori Bargmann taking the lead.
Eradicating all known diseases will take a tremendous amount of research – research that the Biohub partnership has been taking a lead on. It might seem overly ambitious, but the team thinks it is possible considering all of the achievements over the last 100 years.
As Zuckerberg points out in the post:
“Life expectancy has increased by 1/4 year for each year in the past century. If we just continue that progress, average life expectancy will be about 100 by the end of this century – meaning we’ll have cured many of the diseases that prevent us from reaching that age today.”
Apart from the Infectious Disease Initiative, Biohub is also focused on the Cell Atlas project, a million dollar effort that aims to map all the cells in the human body. Because many of the diseases that plague humans begin at the cellular level, mapping these cells would make it possible to see what happens when disease strikes.
As the company’s website states, “these battles must be won, and here at Biohub, we are fighting back.”