Mark Zuckerberg, Dr. Priscilla Chan donate $10M to UCSF Institute for Computational Health Sciences

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan, MD, donated $10 million to support research by Atul Butte, MD, PhD, director of UC San Francisco's Institute for Computational Health Sciences.

The gift establishes Dr. Butte as the Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg distinguished professor at UCSF.

Dr. Butte uses a research approach he calls "data recycling." Rather than investigating health issues by collecting new information, he aims to probe existing datasets. One of Dr. Butte's projects involves integrating EHRs from all five medical centers in the UC system, which comprise records from more than 15 million patients.

"This is among the richest and most diverse medical datasets in the world — much more than just a set of billing codes," said Dr. Butte, a pediatrician and computer scientist. "And, because the data come from our patients, the data are an incredible resource for UC hospitals to improve the quality of care we deliver throughout California."

The $10 million gift from Mr. Zuckerberg and Dr. Chan will fund faculty recruitment and the development of UCSF's Spoke knowledge network. The network will enable researchers to access data from disparate sources — such as clinical trials, EHRs and laboratory experiments — for precision medicine research.

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