Chan Zuckerberg BioHub Awards $50 Million to “Risky” Science
The Chan Zuckerberg Biohub—the nonprofit medical research institute launched by Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg—has announced its first class of scientific grantees, each of whom will receive up to $1.5 million in funding. The biohub was created to provide a safe but exciting space for scientific experimentation, all with an eye to eliminating disease around the world.
Biohub co-leader Stephen Quake is a bioengineer at Stanford University, one of the organization’s major partners. “We told researchers, 'Give us your riskiest ideas,'” Quake told Nature. “There is a creative anarchy in the atmosphere here in the Silicon Valley that we want to harvest.”
The 47 grantees represent a broad range of scientific specialties from immunology to (perhaps unsurprisingly) human social networks. Here are 10 of them.
1. JILL F. BANFIELD, UC BERKELEY
Banfield studies geomicrobiology and environmental microbiology—that is, the tiny organisms living in the rock, soil, and sand.
2. MARTIN KAMPMANN, UC SAN FRANCISCO
3. MARKITA LANDRY, UC BERKELEY
Landry uses her background in chemical and biomolecular engineering to develop infrared and nanosensor scanners that will produce super-high-resolution images of the inside of the brain.
4. JURIJ LESKOVEC, STANFORD
Leskovec analyzes information and social networks from the large-scale (humans) to the microscopic (neurons) and even the invisible (data).
5. MICHEL MAHARBIZ, LAWRENCE BERKELEY NATIONAL LAB
6. RIKKY MULLER, UC BERKELEY
Muller is creating wireless microsystems that could be directly attached to the human brain for long-term, non-invasive monitoring, and treatment of psychiatric and neurological disorders.
7. KATIE POLLARD, UC SAN FRANCISCO
8. MANU PRAKASH, STANFORD
Prakash and his colleagues have invented a number of low-cost, hand-powered tools for researchers and medical practitioners working in remote areas. Their latest invention was a paper centrifuge that can be made for about $0.20.
9. ELIZABETH SATTELY, STANFORD
Sattely’s focus is plants—specifically food plants like grains, and how they might be engineered to become more nutritious.
10. KE XU, UC BERKELEY
Xu has invented new microscope techniques so advanced that we can now see biological structures we’d never seen before.
Check out the Biohub website for the complete list of grantees.