CHICAGO (WLS) — Gov. JB Pritzker and scientific leaders on Thursday announced the launch of a groundbreaking hub for research in the heart of Fulton Market: The Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Chicago.
They say it’s set to spearhead new research on human tissue to create therapeutics to save and improve lives.
Construction on the massive and modern new bio-tech space started in August of this year.
“Our aspirations are to create technologies and make discoveries that can help millions of patients,” said Dr. Shana Kelly, president of CZ Biohub Chicago.
Staff, like Kelly, are set to move into what will be a cutting edge, nearly 30,000-square-foot biolab in January 2024.
“We dreamed up a high-tech space where we bring together scientists and other experts across disciplines and institutions, so we could investigate together the biggest mysteries in biology and medicine,” said Priscilla Chan, CZI co-founder and co-CEO.
Chan, the wife of Meta and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, attended the launch Thursday with Pritzker, sharing her enthusiasm about the partnership among research institutions University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, University of Chicago and Northwestern University.
“Chicago Biohub is going to change the way our world deals with disease, or to put it another way, it will help scientists do their part to end disease as we know it,” Chan said.
A short message from Zuckerberg was also featured.
“The Chicago Biohub is going to build miniaturized sensors to understand how cells work together and interact within tissues,” he said.
The state is providing $25 million in infrastructure funds to help win the multidisciplinary lab expansion to research the minute details of cell inflammation, the basis of many diseases.
“From cancer to autoimmune and neurodegenerative conditions, that’s a big deal, and we are at the center of it. This is quite literally life-changing work,” Pritzker said.
Chicago was chosen out of 58 applicants from 172 institutions nationwide set to use lab-grown human cells to dive into the mysteries of the human body.
“Today is a great example of the staying power of this city’s enthusiasm for cutting edge science,” Chan said.
The hope is that as engineers and biologists work together in this prestigious shared space, new technologies and new solutions for some of our most pressing diseases will be created.