Priscilla Chan on pediatric biology and research

For this week’s episode of the “First Opinion Podcast,” I spoke with Priscilla Chan, co-founder and CEO of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, about the urgent need for more single-cell research in pediatrics. Chan broke down the science and reflected on how becoming a parent to two young children has influenced her professional interests, and vice versa. “Over the course of Covid, I’ve also asked myself, would I enroll them in a Covid study?” she said. “And I think for me the answer is yes.”

The conversation stems from Chan’s recent First Opinion, “Use single-cell biology to shed light on pediatric diseases currently in the dark.” She taught grammar school and trained as a pediatrician before co-founding CZI with her husband, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and was inspired to push for more pediatric research after working with so many children who had rare diseases. “There are few things harder for a physician to say to a patient than, ‘I don’t know what’s wrong,’” she wrote.

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