Individual Initiatives

Mark Zuckerberg Funds Human Cell Mapping to Potentially Battle and End Diseases

By on
Mark Zuckerberg Funds Human Cell Mapping to Potentially Battle and End Diseases
PHOTOGRAPH: Human Brain Cells | Photo source:

Human cell mapping would pave way for understanding, battling, and eventually ending different types of diseases that contract our bodies. Mark Zuckerberg of the social networking site Facebook provided $600 million to create BioHub, a center that will work on mapping our bodies’ trillions of cells.

Directory For Human Cells

Cell Biology

Source: Giphy

Our body consists of trillions of cells. If medical researchers, doctors, and drugmakers have a map that inspects and locates each type of cells in the human body, they would be able to easily examine the cells and how it responds to new drug treatments.

Human cell mapping can remarkably revolutionize healthcare as being able to catalog how the body’s immune system adapt to treatments can provide insights especially for cancer treatments. However, these studies do not come cheap.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who, along with his wife Priscilla Chan, aims to fight diseases by giving $3 billion in over 10 years. To start the initiative, Zuckerberg founded the $600 million center BioHub to create a human cell directory.

BioHub’s Immediate Research Projects

No time will be wasted as the researchers at BioHub will immediately commence two transformative research projects – the Infectious Disease Initiative and the Cell Atlas.

Since the world still faces a lot of health threats like the Zika virus, HIV, and Ebola, the Infectious Disease Initiative will focus on the creation of diagnostic tests, drugs and vaccines to fight these diseases.

Meanwhile, the Cell Atlas will provide a map of the many types of cells in the humans’ organs which will be made available for researchers. There will also be a basic breakdown of cells in exceptional detail of its internal systems that will be used to better understand what happens to the cell when the disease attacks.

According to BioHub’s co-president Stephen Quake, the medical research center is “still very small scale.” In order to create a larger magnitude, an “international effort” is essential.

Nonetheless, Quake says it is “starting to take shape” especially for the Cell Atlas with 2017 expected to be a big year for the research project.

The collaborative efforts for human cell mapping, once the medical studies are completed, can surely allow better and improved ways of predicting, diagnosing and treating many kinds of diseases that can save millions of lives.

About the author

To Top