CHICAGO, Ill. (WTVO) — The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative launched a new biomedical research hub in Chicago to study human tissue and discover new medical therapies.
Gov. JB Pritzker joined Chan Zuckerberg co-founder and co-CEO Dr. Priscilla Chan for the launch of the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Chicago on Thursday, which will bring together researchers from the University of Chicago, University of Illinois, and Northwestern University.
Chan said, “I’m energized being here in Chicago and hearing directly from researchers about the transformative technology they’re building to measure human biology and bring us closer to understanding and preventing disease. The Chicago Biohub and their work studying inflammation at the cellular level has the potential to fundamentally change our understanding of human health.”
“The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has recognized what we’ve been promoting and demonstrating to investors and businesses across the globe—when it comes to cutting edge development and research, there’s no better place to build a top-tier workforce and develop cutting-edge technologies than Illinois and Chicago,” said Pritzker. “The CZ Biohub Chicago will be an industry-leading scientific research center in the heart of Fulton Market with the support of our local university and workforce talent, and I cannot wait to see what sort of groundbreaking advances in biomedical research will result from this endeavor.”
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was founded in 2015 by Chan and her husband, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, in an effort to “help solve society’s toughest challenges, from eradicating disease and improving education, to addressing the needs of local communities.”
The new research hub will “focus on engineering technologies to study inflammation and the immune system with the long-term goal of understanding the inflammatory states that underlie many diseases.”
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will invest $250 million for the facility, with a commitment of $25 million from the state.
The Chicago Biohub will be led by Shana O. Kelly, a professor of chemistry and biomedical engineering at Northwestern.
The facility is expected to undertake experiments in tying sensors to human tissue to understand what happens when it becomes inflamed. In an interview with Forbes, Kelly said more than 50% of deaths are attributed to diseases with some form of inflammation.