Look out disease, Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan, among the world’s 10 wealthiest couples, are coming for you armed to do battle with wads of cash. The ultimate one percenters have pledged to donate six percent of their net worth of $55.2 billion in the next ten years to “cure, prevent or manage all disease.” Math is hard, but that totals a whopping $3 billion.
By sinking their dollars into research funding, the Facebook founder and his pediatrician spouse are confident that will lead to scientific breakthroughs, which will eventually solve the majority of the U.S.’s health problems by the end of the century. “We have to be patient. This is hard stuff,” Zuckerberg said. Chan further explains in the Washington Post, “That doesn’t mean no one will ever get sick, but it means our children and their children should get sick a lot less.”
Lofty goals indeed!
The power duo hasn’t come to this decision lightly. Zuckerberg emphasized, “that this isn’t something where we just read a book and decided we’re going to do.”
Their philanthropic organization, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, will fund a $600 million research center or “Biohub” in San Francisco, a collaboration between the Bay Area’s three premier research universities. The goal of the center won’t be to just to focus on specific ailments, but rather to concentrate on overall medical research. For example, an endeavor the center will focus on is a cell atlas that maps out all the different types of cells in the body, which could help researchers create various types of drugs. The business-minded Zuckerberg points out that this tactic makes the most sense: “We spend 50 times more on health care treating people who are sick than we spend on science research (to cure) diseases so that people don’t get sick in the first place.”
This aligns with the new parents’ recent commitment of donating 99 percent of their wealth.
Surely that is a status update everyone will be happy to “Like”. [Washington Post]