Biohub is a joint collaborative effort by Berkeley, UCSF and Stanford for a medical science research center funded by a $600 million commitment from Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan. It is trademarked as well as CZ Biohub. It is currently co-led by Stephen Quake and Joseph DeRisi. Gajus Worthington was named as Biohub's Chief Operating Officer in 2017. The idea for Biohub originated in 2015 when the current leaders, along with Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, discussed the need for a collaborative effort by those three universities for fundamental medical research.
|President||Joseph DeRisi, Stephen Quake|
Biohub is presently headquartered next to UCSF's Mission Bay campus, with a satellite site at Stanford. It will provide basic researchers and clinical scientists with flexible laboratory space, the latest technological tools and funding for ambitious research projects.
Jennifer Doudna, UC Berkeley professor of molecular and cell biology and chemistry, Li Ka Shing Chancellor's Chair in Biomedical and Health Sciences, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, is a member of Biohub's Science Advisory Group. Dr. Doudna is known for her pioneering work on CRISPR-Cas9, a gene-editing technology that has the potential to revolutionize genetics, molecular biology and medicine.
Biohub will allow researchers at leading institutions to collaborate and accelerate the development of breakthrough scientific and medical advancements, applications and therapeutics. Scientists chosen for the initial 47 research positions are working on a wide range of projects, but the selection committee tried to focus on new technologies and the basic science and mechanism behind diseases. This includes 13 from UC Berkeley, 15 from UCSF, and 19 from Stanford. The 2018 awards will be chosen in early 2018. Biohub is structured as a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, but it has retained close control of the outcomes of its efforts, including patent rights.
Two of the three universities in Biohub already have affiliations with major medical research facilities. Stanford University is affiliated with the VA Palo Alto Health Care System. VAPAHCS maintains the third largest research program in the VA with extensive research centers in geriatrics, mental health, Alzheimer's disease, spinal cord regeneration, schizophrenia, Rehabilitation Research and Development Center, HIV research, and a Health Economics Resource Center. UC San Francisco is affiliated with the UCSF Medical Center, the leading hospital in California, and the San Francisco VA Medical Center. SFVAMC has the largest funded research program in the Veterans Health Administration with $90.2 million in research expenditures (2015). The current Medical Center Director is Bonnie S. Graham. UC Berkeley, though not having a hospital affiliation, has a premier research botanical garden, the University of California Botanical Garden. This and other botanical gardens will serve as a resource for Biohub pharmacology research.
Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg's other philanthropy, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has recently provided grant funding for an AI tool to make millions of published medical/scientific findings more readily accessible.
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