However, Priscilla Chan, the wife of the billionaire social network pioneer Mark Zuckerberg, told NBC’s Today show on Thursday that their 10-month-old daughter, Max, will only be permitted to have her own Facebook page when she turns 13 years of age – just like every other youngster. The $3 billion will come from the $45 billion the couple pledged to invest in their initiative past year, following the birth of their daughter.
The $3 billion investment will be made in the next decade with the couple starting the initiative by investing $600 million in a research center called Biohub.
“If we can develop new tools, we can empower scientists all around the world to make much faster progress and breakthroughs”, Zuckerberg said at yesterday’s event.
Zuckerberg concluded: “This is about the future we want for our daughter and children everywhere”.
The Silicon Valley luminaries will use the fund over the next ten years in an attempt to “cure, prevent or manage all disease by the end of this century”, according to Zuckerberg.
That doesnt mean that no one will ever get sick.
The center is being created as a partnership with Stanford University, University of California at San Francisco and UC Berkeley, the initiative said in a statement.
During the announcement, Chan, a paediatrician, “spoke through tears as she recalled telling parents their child had an incurable disease or could not be revived”, USA Today reports.
They said the goal would require three a reas of focus – bringing scientists and engineers together, more collaboration in the field of science and building tools, more advanced technology, growing the movement and more funding for other projects.
Cell Atlas will map the cells which make up the body’s major organs, while the Infectious Disease Initiative will attempt to create tests and vaccines for diseases such as HIV, Ebola, Zika and more.
“I’ve been with families where we’ve hit the limit of what’s possible through medicine and science”, Chan said.
Zuckerberg said at present, 50 times more money was spent on treating people who are sick than on curing the diseases that would stop them getting ill in the first place, and added that this needed to change. Gates heads the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with his wife Melinda Gates. The initiative’s initial focus has been education, with investments going to education startups. We plan to invest billions of dollars over decades.
However, he remained cautious on how quickly the contributions could have an impact, admitting that it could be many years before major breakthroughs are made, and even longer before they are successfully applied to patients.