The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the philanthropic organization of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, announced a new infusion of scientific funding Thursday in support of the Human Cell Atlas.
The Human Cell Atlas has awarded a total of $15 million to 85 researchers working on cell biology and related technologies across the U.S. and Europe, according to a spokesperson from Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Fred Hutch researcher Raphael Gottardo is one of the scientists the new initiative will fund.
The goal of the project is to “map every cell in the human body as a resource to understand and improve human health and disease,” Chan wrote in a Facebook post announcing the new funding. The idea is to have an encyclopedic understanding of human biology, giving scientists a resource on the same scale as the Human Genome Project.
Researchers taking part in the project “focus on creating new computational tools, algorithms, visualizations, and benchmark datasets,” according to the Human Cell Atlas website. “In the spirit of open, collaborative development, researchers will work together and share progress with each other to evaluate the strengths of different approaches.”
The Human Cell Atlas is part of the $3 billion Chan Zuckerberg Science initiative, which aims to manage, cure or prevent all diseases within the next century.