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Zuckerberg, Chan Pledge $3B to End Disease

And they're 'optimistic' they can do it
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2016 6:09 PM CDT

(Newser) – Let it never be said that Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan don't dream big. On Wednesday, the Facebook founder and his wife announced a $3 billion plan to wipe out disease by the end of the century, Variety reports. "This is about the future we want for our daughter and children everywhere," Zuckerberg says in a Facebook post. "If there's a chance that we can help cure all diseases in our children's lifetime, then we will do our part." Chan, who teared up while talking about telling parents their child has an incurable disease, says the hope is to "cure, prevent, or manage all disease within our children's lifetime," according to USA Today.

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It may sound far-fetched, but Zuckerberg says he's "optimistic" it can be done, pointing out that modern medicine has made impressive progress despite only existing for 100 years or so. "Today, just four kinds of diseases cause the majority of deaths," he says on Facebook. "We can make progress on all of them with the right technology." To that end, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative hired neuroscience and genetics expert Dr. Cori Bargmann to spearhead the effort. And $600 million of its $3 billion investment will go toward the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub research facility. The power couple started the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative after the birth of their daughter last year, pledging to give away 99% of their fortune. (Read more Mark Zuckerberg stories.)

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