Second cohort of CZ Biohub Investigators includes awardees from a broad range of disciplines, with fresh approaches to biological and medical problems

SAN FRANCISCO – The Chan Zuckerberg Biohub announced the second cohort of scientists to be named CZ Biohub Investigators. The Investigator Program, open to faculty members at Stanford University, UC San Francisco, and UC Berkeley, awards $1 million in unrestricted funds over five years to each Investigator, with the goal of building engaged, collaborative communities of Bay Area scientists to undertake creative and innovative research that will help solve the biggest challenges in biomedicine.

The 86 awardees were chosen from nearly 700 applicants through a competitive process judged by nationally recognized external reviewers and a blue-ribbon Selection Advisory Committee. They represent a diverse range of disciplines, including basic biological sciences, clinical biomedical sciences, physics, chemistry, engineering, computer and data sciences, statistics, and public health.

The start date for the new Investigator awards is March 1, 2022.

“These new Investigators will pursue the ideas that excite them most and address scientific questions they consider fundamental,” said Joe DeRisi, Ph.D., president of CZ Biohub.

Former CZ Biohub Co-President Steve Quake, D.Phil., now leading a new nationwide CZ Biohub Network initiative, added, “We are particularly grateful to our diverse group of expert external reviewers and our advisory panel, who helped identify proposals that are bold, innovative, and unlikely to be supported by traditional sources of research funding.”

Investigators attend regular CZ Biohub Investigator meetings, which are the backbone of the community and a primary engine of the unique collaborations made possible by CZ Biohub. To accelerate scientific discovery, Investigators must upload all manuscripts on which they are a corresponding author to open-access preprint servers upon submission to a peer-reviewed journal.

While some of the awardees are members of the first cohort of CZ Biohub Investigators, most are brand-new to the Investigator Program. Given that a fundamental goal of the program is to build and sustain a community for fostering collaboration and inspiring visionary, innovative ideas, all former Investigators and current Investigators, whose awards are ending soon, will remain integral members of the CZ Biohub community as alumni.

This new cohort brings CZ Biohub’s commitment of new funding to Stanford University, UC San Francisco, and UC Berkeley over the next five years to more than $100 million, including $21 million previously committed to help CZ Biohub’s partner universities recruit new faculty with a focus on increasing faculty diversity. This new funding essentially doubles down on CZ Biohub’s previous support of 107 faculty members at its three partner universities who have received $96 million in prior funding and future funding commitments as Biohub Investigators.

“This forward-thinking partnership brings together some of the most brilliant minds from UCSF, UC Berkeley, and Stanford to expand our collective understanding of disease across the globe. Through this initiative, the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub is expanding what is possible in bioscience and health research through innovative philanthropy. I am eager to see what advances this group of scholars will make through their collaborations,” said UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood, M.B.B.S.

UC Berkeley Chancellor Carol T. Christ, Ph.D., said, “We are both proud of, and humbled by, the extraordinary work of our faculty members—changemakers from a diverse array of departments across our campus who have been chosen to receive this generous and essential funding. Now, more than ever, CZ Biohub’s mission to combat and prevent disease is perfectly aligned with our university’s commitment to advancing the greater good through research, public service, and education.”

Marc Tessier-Lavigne, Ph.D., president of Stanford University, said, “The Chan Zuckerberg Biohub extends the reach and impact of biomedical research and empowers scholars to take on the toughest challenges in human health. I am delighted for these talented Stanford faculty members, who will have the opportunity to pursue their boldest, most visionary ideas within this community of dedicated scholars.”

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