125 Stanford Stories

NO. 90

Biohub: New health research venture

Stanford joins a collaboration created by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to study human diseases through biotechnology, together with UC Berkeley and UCSF

A new biomedical research collaboration among Stanford and two other Bay Area universities aims to develop technologies to cure and prevent human disease.

Called Biohub, it was created by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a philanthropic engine started by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, pediatrician Priscilla Chan, after the birth of their daughter in 2015.

Biohub unites specialists at Stanford, the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of California, Berkeley in basic biotechnology research and large-scale projects focused on human health challenges. Its headquarters will be in San Francisco’s Mission Bay district, with an outstation at Stanford known as the Stanford Biohub.

“This initiative will dramatically improve our ability to conduct fundamental research at the intersection of biology and engineering that can lead to important applications for human health,” said Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne, who is also a neuroscientist.

“We are grateful for the investment by Mark and Priscilla in both sophisticated tools and an unprecedented Bay Area-wide university collaboration that will enable groundbreaking discovery,” Tessier-Lavigne said.

Stanford biochemistry Professor Peter S. Kim will lead the attack on infectious diseases sponsored by the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub.
Stanford biochemistry Professor Peter S. Kim will lead the attack on infectious diseases sponsored by the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub.

“The Biohub will be the sinew that ties together these three institutions in the Bay Area like never before,” said Stephen Quake, a Stanford professor of bioengineering and of applied physics, who will co-lead the Biohub with Joseph DeRisi, PhD ’99, professor and chairman of biochemistry and biophysics at UCSF.

Stanford biochemistry Professor Peter S. Kim will run the Biohub’s infectious disease project.

Funded through a $600 million commitment from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Biohub is an independent research organization. One of its aims is to fund investigators to support high-impact projects that are too exploratory to receive government support. Another is to support early-career scientists, including by creating career tracks that emphasize research.

Learn more about Biohub and the scientists who will lead it.

Read more about Peter S. Kim’s goals for the Biohub infectious disease project.