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Gov. Pritzker Announces Launch of Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Chicago

Press Release - Thursday, October 05, 2023

CZ Biohub brings together leading science and technology institutions to solve scientific challenges

CHICAGO — Today, Governor JB Pritzker joined leadership from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Network, and local officials to announce the launch of the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Chicago (CZ Biohub Chicago)—a new biomedical research hub at the cutting edge of leading scientific study. CZ Biohub Chicago brings together three of Illinois' leading scientific and technology institutions—University of Chicago, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Northwestern University—to study human tissue with the goal of enabling new, groundbreaking therapeutics. CZ Biohub Chicago was selected in early 2023 to join the prestigious CZ Biohub Network, which includes a $250 million investment from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

"The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has recognized what we've been promoting and demonstrating to investors and businesses across the globe—when it comes to cutting edge development and research, there's no better place to build a top-tier workforce and develop cutting-edge technologies than Illinois and Chicago," said Governor JB Pritzker. "The CZ Biohub Chicago will be an industry-leading scientific research center in the heart of Fulton Market with the support of our local university and workforce talent, and I cannot wait to see what sort of groundbreaking advances in biomedical research will result from this endeavor."

"The launch of the CZ Biohub Chicago continues to demonstrate how Illinois is a national leader in research science," said Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton. "The collaboration between our state's institutions will lead to biomedical breakthroughs that improve the lives of Illinoisans and people around the world."

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, founded in 2015, aims to help solve society's toughest challenges—from eradicating disease and improving education, to addressing the needs of local communities. Through the CZ Biohub Chicago, the state's leading institutions will focus on engineering technologies to study inflammation and the immune system with the long-term goal of understanding the inflammatory states that underlie many diseases. Selected through a highly competitive year-long application process, the Illinois team of leading institutions was chosen out of 58 applicants from 172 institutions across the country. Chicago's application was bolstered by letters of support from political leaders including Governor Pritzker, as well as a $25 million capital commitment from the state.

CZI Co-Founder and Co-CEO Priscilla Chan said, "I'm energized being here in Chicago and hearing directly from researchers about the transformative technology they're building to measure human biology and bring us closer to understanding and preventing disease. The Chicago Biohub and their work studying inflammation at the cellular level has the potential to fundamentally change our understanding of human health."

"Illinois has a longstanding history as a leader in science and technology, and the launch of CZ Biohub Chicago will lead to groundbreaking scientific discoveries that will change lives and livelihoods for generations to come," said DCEO Director Kristin Richards. "Investing in this groundbreaking research will help create unprecedented opportunities for our world-class workforce while bolstering economic development across the state."

Led by Northwestern professor Dr. Shana O. Kelley, the Chicago site is the first expansion of the CZ Biohub Network, which launched in 2021 and builds upon the successful model of the first CZ Biohub in San Francisco, launched in 2016. The site includes state-of-the-art laboratories, meeting spaces, a biofoundry and more.

CZ Biohub Chicago's collaborative model for scientific research will have profound implications for health and medicine, with the goal of creating new therapeutics and catalyzing biotechnology in high-impact areas.

As home to some of the highest-ranked universities and hospitals in the world along with the renowned Argonne National Laboratory, CZ Biohub Chicago is adding to Illinois' leadership in the bioscience, health care and research space. With unprecedented investments in research and development under the Pritzker administration, Illinois has bolstered its reputation as a world-class hub for talent, research institutions, tech hubs, incubators and more.

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