Like many of you, weare also very excited by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative announcement. Here’s what we know so far:
Rather than funding direct cures, the initiative will fund basic science research, asking questions like how cells divide or how proteins fold. The expectation is that answers to these questions will lead to fundamental breakthroughs.
We anticipate that there will be opportunities for grants and collaboration in the future, but that process hasn’t begun. Right now, the only project announced is the ‘Biohub.’
Biohub will provide basic researchers and clinical scientists with flexible laboratory space, the latest technological tools and funding for ambitious research projects. It’s operating as a joint venture between UCSF, Stanford and Berkley, with two main projects right now:
Cell Atlas: The Cell Atlas will be a map made available to researchers around the world that reveals the many different types of cells that control the body’s major organs, such as the brain, heart, breast and lungs. The Cell Atlas will also depict the internal machinery of cells in unprecedented detail, allowing scientists to search for the basic breakdowns that occur within cells when disease strikes.
Infectious Disease Initiative: The Infectious Disease Initiative will explore new ways to create drugs, diagnostic tests and vaccines against the many infectious diseases that still threaten much of the world, like HIV, Ebola and Zika. The initiative will include a Rapid Response Team that can immediately devote world-class scientists and advanced research technology to develop new ways to fight a sudden outbreak.