Facebook founder Mark
Zuckerberg wants to wipe out disease by the end of the century.
The billionaire CEO and his wife, Priscilla Chan, said they are
giving $3 billion over the next ten years to advance research
toward that end.
A huge chunk, $600 million, will be dedicated to a new research
center at the University of California, San Francisco, that will
collaborate with the University of California, Berkeley as well
as Stanford University.
"Mark and I spent the past two years talking to scientists
ranging from Nobel Prize laureates to graduate students," Chan
said during an emotional talk at UCSF. "We believe that the
future we all want for our children is possible. We set a goal:
can we cure all diseases in our children's lifetime? That
doesn't mean that no one will ever get sick. But it does mean
that our children and their children should get sick a lot less.
And that we should be able to detect and treat or at least
manage it as an ongoing condition. Mark and I believe this is
possible within our children's lifetime."
The center will be run by Cori Bargmann, a noted neuroscientist.
Zuckerberg and Chan made the announcement Wednesday.
going to take years before the first tools are built, and years
after that before the first diseases are treated," Zuckerberg
said. "We have to be patient."
Zuckerberg and Chan are part of an initiative called The Giving
Pledge, where billionaires pledge to donate more than half of
their wealth to charity. Others who have made that promise
include Bill and Melinda Gates, Warren Buffett, Elon Musk, and
Richard and Joan Branson. Zuckerberg and his wife have pledged
to give away 99 percent of their wealth.
Facebook was founded in 2004 and has since grown into a company
that reported $4.5 billion in revenue in its latest quarter. The
company says more than 1 billion people go on Facebook every
day, and more than 80 percent of them live outside the United
States and Canada.