When Mark Zuckerberg married his bride, Priscilla Chan, it was no surprise that this couple immediately began using their power and influence to make a difference in the areas of life they value most, including healthcare. The question now is, will Mark Zuckerberg discover the next big cure?
Chan, a former pediatrician, combined her passion for healthcare with her husband’s passion for technology and innovation to form the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative. The organization’s website describes it as dedicated to “leveraging technology, community-driven solutions, and collaboration to build a more inclusive, just, and healthy future.” They formed the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) over five years ago, but Zuckerberg and Chan recently chatted with Medscapes’ Dr. Eric Topol about the tools CZI is building to accelerate science and the future of health.
We’re definitely not saying that Mark Zuckerberg and his wife are the future of medicine. But, the work occurring at their institute has the potential to create positive changes and impact healthcare and the quest to cure diseases. Back in 1994, the Economist predicted the end of all serious diseases by 2050. The Zuckerbergs’ ambitions are not as bold, but they do believe this eradication can be accomplished by the end of the current century, and they hope CZI plays a role in it.
The Advanced Biomedical Imaging Institute, established to measure human biology in action, is one of CZI’s many projects in place to reach the goal of eradicating serious health diseases. One of the focuses of the Institute is to map out the location of every protein in a cell. Zuckerberg believes a tool that does this will be extremely valuable in learning how the body’s cells watch and react to various conditions and diseases affecting the body.
To learn more about the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and its role in the future of healthcare, check out the interview with Dr. Topol, Zuckerberg, and Priscilla Chan here.