May 14, 2024 · 3 min read

CZI’s AI Computing System Honored as a ‘World Changing Idea’

Fast Company recognized the organization’s vision to build predictive models of cells and cell systems to advance the frontiers of science and medicine.

A single cell on a computer screen.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s (CZI) AI computing system for nonprofit life science research was named an honoree in Fast Company’s annual ‘World Changing Ideas’ list, which is composed of trailblazing organizations and businesses that are addressing the most pressing issues of our time. The organization was recognized in the Science and Technology category for its vision to build predictive models of cells and cell systems, which will pave the way for new discoveries that could help scientists cure, prevent, or manage all diseases by the end of this century.

“We’re delighted Fast Company acknowledges our AI science strategy and our vision to help scientists better understand — and ultimately make predictions about — human biology,” said Patricia Brennan, Vice President of Science Technology at CZI. “As a technology-first philanthropy, we’re committed to pushing the boundaries of science by leveraging advances in AI to deepen our understanding of health and disease.”

Over the last decade, CZI has supported the aggregation and curation of enormous amounts of important biological information about healthy and diseased cells. Along with other open access resources, these datasets can be used to train AI and large language learning models (LLMs) to unlock new insights about human biology at the cellular level, which will open the door to a myriad of new biomedical discoveries. However, the scaled and robust computing infrastructure required for research efforts of this nature is cost-prohibitive for many organizations, especially academic institutions.

CZI’s high-powered computing system, one of the largest of its kind for nonprofit life science research, will be used to train AI models that will allow scientists to make predictions about human health and disease. Initial projects will focus on expanding the scientific community’s understanding of genomic and biological data by training models on high resolution cell images from the Human Protein Atlas, as well as data from single-cell transcriptomes, DNA, and RNA from openly accessible resources like Chan Zuckerberg CELL by GENE (CZ CELLxGENE) and the International Genome Sample Resource’s 1,000 Genomes Project. The organization’s long-term goal is to build virtual cell models that scientists can access for in-silico experimentation, which will accelerate research and eventually improve patient diagnoses and expand treatment options.

Read more about CZI’s virtual cells vision and AI strategy.


About the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative was founded in 2015 to help solve some of society’s toughest challenges — from eradicating disease and improving education, to addressing the needs of our local communities. Our mission is to build a more inclusive, just, and healthy future for everyone. For more information, please visit

Press Contact
Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
Nicki Ghafari

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