The project will include a programme called Biohub - a partnership between Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California, San Fransisco.
While those investment's focused on education, this new program will put the family's money into research to tackle disease before the end of the century.
Zuckerberg wants to cure all disease.
Chan said she and Zuckerberg spent two years talking to scientists.
"Back in April, Mark Zuckerberg announced to the world that he is, in fact, God, and said he wanted to "[help] to cure all diseases by the end of this century".
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative is a limited liability company that the couple uses to make donations and investments to advance their philanthropic causes.
"It's a game changer, not only for the Bay Area and the three respective campuses, but for the life sciences in general", Tjian said.
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The Infectious Disease Initiative would explore new ways to create drugs, diagnostic tests and vaccines against the many infectious diseases that still threaten much of the world, including HIV, Ebola and Zika.
Beginning in October, faculty members in any field from the three universities can apply for five-year "investigatorships". Biohub will be led by UCSF biochemist and UC Santa Cruz alumnus Joseph DeRisi and Stanford bioengineer Stephen Quake.
The Infectious Disease Initiative will also consist of a rapid response team that can devote scientists and technology to stopping a sudden outbreak.
She recalled experiences of telling parents their child had an incurable disease or could not be revived, and said her role as a doctor had made her determined to work with scientists to help save lives. She was quick to note that the goal isn't to eliminate disease entirely but to invest in research that will allow for today's diseases to be cured, prevented and managed.
Haussler, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, is a pioneer in genomics research and an global leader in efforts to advance genomic medicine.
He also gave an example of a cell atlas - that could potentially help researchers know more about every cell in the body - which left the audience fascinated. It has greatly accelerated research into the genetic basis of disease and underlies lifesaving biomedical assays.
Gates talked about his own experience in science research via his Gates Foundations and applauded Chan and Zuckerberg's investment, describing their goal of curing all disease as "very bold, very ambitious".