Last year Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan announced they would be investing a huge amount of money over the next ten years in the lofty effort to cure all disease. Now, the first of that cash is being assigned to researchers as they embark on this epic mission.
The Chan Zuckerberg BioHub was funded with the express purpose of curing all human disease by the turn of the century. On a shorter timescale, the hub aims to make breakthroughs in medical and basic science giving researchers free reign in their fields and focusing heavily on cross-collaboration.
The institution is now giving out the first funds to 47 researchers out of 700 applicants, who’ll receive a total of $50 million, money to be spent on research in various fields. While other efforts generally aim to solve one problem or one disease, like Microsoft Research’s anti-cancer drive, the Chan Zuckerberg BioHub doesn’t have a precise focus. The researchers employed and granted from the fund are encouraged to focus on blue skies research. The recent breakthrough discovery of CRISPR/Cas9 is pointed to as a huge and unexpected success of non-directed research.
Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan pledged to donate $3 billion over the next ten years for the BioHub and medical scientific efforts, so these kind of grants will likely become much more common over the coming months and years