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Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg announces $3bn funding to help cure diseases

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have committed to invest over $3bn during the next decade to work on preventing, curing or managing all diseases.

The announcement was made at an event in San Francisco, US.

The money comes from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative the couple has started last year for advancing human potential and promoting equality.

The initial investment of $600m will be used to establish a research lab of engineers and scientists based in San Francisco.

At the lab, dubbed Biohub, engineers and researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, will create tools in order to identify new ways to treat diseases.

“We’ll be investing in basic science research with the goal of curing disease”, Chan explained while recalling her work with families at the difficult moments of their lives.

Zuckerberg was quoted by Bloomberg as saying said there’s the potential to invest in tools that may help in understanding and addressing several diseases, like artificial intelligence software to learn more about how the brain functioning, continuous bloodstream monitoring to catch diseases early, and a map of several cell types in the body to assist researchers who are engaged in drugs designing.

After the birth of their daughter, Zuckerberg and Chan pledged give away 99% of their Facebook shares for the cause of human advancement.

When the pledge was unveiled in December 2015, it was valued at $45bn.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative initial areas of focus include personalised learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities.

Image: Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg in Prague (2013). Photo: courtesy of Lukasz Porwol.