|Nationality United States|
Name Gary Michelson
|Spouse(s) Alya Michelson|
|Born January 14, 1949 (age 66) (1949-01-14) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
Alma mater B.A. Temple University M.D. Hahnemann Medical College
Occupation Medical device inventor/Philanthropist
Residence Los Angeles, California, United States
Education Central High School, Temple University
Similar People Patrick Soon‑Shiong, Phillip Frost, Thomas F Frist - Jr, James Andrews, Garth Fisher
Net worth 1.55 billion USD (2015)
Gary k michelson a conversation about invention process edison nation 2015 03 09
Gary K. Michelson (born January 14, 1949) is an American board certified orthopedic spinal surgeon, inventor, and philanthropist.
- Gary k michelson a conversation about invention process edison nation 2015 03 09
- Gary k michelson usc michelson center groundbreaking keynote mmrf 2014 10 23
- Early life and education
- Medical innovations
- Personal life
- Awards and honors
- Articles and speaking engagements
Gary k michelson usc michelson center groundbreaking keynote mmrf 2014 10 23
Early life and education
One of four boys, Michelson was raised by his mother and grandmother. Witnessing the effects of his grandmother's spinal deformity as a boy motivated him to pursue medicine as a career, with a specialty in spine problems. He attended Central High School of Philadelphia, Temple University and Hahnemann Medical College. He completed his medical residency in orthopedic surgery at Hahnemann Medical Hospital, before completing fellowship training in spinal surgery at St. Luke’s Medical Center in a joint program between Baylor University and the University of Texas. He was a practicing spinal surgeon for over 25 years before retiring from private practice to focus on philanthropy. He amassed over 100 research papers and publications to his credit.
He is of Jewish heritage.
Unhappy with the low success rates associated with spinal surgery procedures at the beginning of his career, he developed new technology in response, creating implants, instruments and procedures that would enable spinal surgeons to manage more spinal ailments. Implanted globally in millions of patients, "Michelson Devices" have made spinal surgery far more effective and reliable while decreasing the blood loss, incision size, risks and complications, hospital stay and overall costs compared to earlier procedures. He has over 340 U.S. Patents on instruments, methods and devices for advances in spinal and orthopedic surgery and over 950 issued or pending patents worldwide for instruments, operative procedures, and medical devices related to the treatment of spinal disorders.
In 2005, Michelson sold many of his spine related patents to Medtronic for over $1 billion, placing him on the Forbes 400 list where he has since remained. A legal battle with Medtronic over the origins of the patents preceded the sale. Michelson successfully cross-filed in response to Medtronic's suit against him. His defense against Medtronic's suit established a major legal precedent in 2004, governing who bears the cost of pre-trial discovery of electronic evidence.
Michelson announced his intent to launch a medical philanthropic venture in a 2005 New York Times article, at that time planning to apply at least $200 million to explore and scale leading edge medical technology, like nanotechnology and stem cell research. Founded in 1995, The Gary Karlin Michelson, M.D. Charitable Foundation, Inc. was rechristened the Michelson Medical Research Foundation in 2005. With no paid officers and an initial contribution of $100 million later augmented by Michelson's add-on contributions, the nonprofit does not accept donations.
After reading an article written by SABIN Vaccine Institute President Peter Hotez published in the Los Angeles Times, Michelson became one of the principal supporters of the Institute's fight against Neglected Tropical Diseases. With an initial five million dollars donation giving birth to the Michelson Neglected Disease Vaccine Initiative, Michelson "felt compelled to support efforts to develop a vaccine against the four most devastating parasitic worm infections because more than one billion innocent people, many of them small children, are unnecessarily plagued by these neglected diseases."
Michelson also created the Twenty Million Minds Foundation, originally a comprehensive library of higher education textbooks in an open education platform now an education startup incubator, and the Found Animals Foundation, a 501(c)(3) private operating foundation dedicated to animal welfare.
With a budget of 15 million dollars as of November 2013, 65 full-time employees and 137,000 volunteer hours to date, Found Animals provides no cost spay and neuter services to low income households, a grant program supporting spay/neuter and surrender prevention programs, a kitten foster program which saved more than 1,000 kittens in 2015 and the Saving Pets Challenge which raised $1 Million for animal welfare organizations nationwide.
In 2008, Michelson's Found Animals foundation launched the Michelson Prize and Grants in Reproductive Biology an international competition with a 25 million dollar prize that represents a unique experiment in innovation aimed at solving the problem of pet overpopulation. His goal is to encourage researchers from a wide variety of scientific fields to take on the challenge of non-surgical pet sterilization. Recognizing that interested parties may not have access to funds the research and testing would require, also offered is the companion Michelson Grants in Reproductive Biology that will provide up to $50 million in funding for promising research. The Michelson Prize seeks to make sterilization accessible and affordable worldwide and aid developing countries where this problem is even greater.
In a program directly acknowledged by the L.A. Mayor’s office, Dr. Michelson’s Found Animals Foundation paid for all the costs of anyone who would rescue a dog or cat scheduled for euthanasia. It is estimated that Dr. Michelson has thus far devoted a total of $300 million to various causes.
In January 2014 it was announced that Michelson gifted $50 million to the University of Southern California for the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience.
In the December 2015 issue of Forbes Magazine, Gary K. Michelson was featured alongside Warren Buffett, William A. Ackman, Michael Milken, Michael J. Fox as one of "10 People with Big Ideas to Change the World".
In February 2016, through his organization, the 20MM Michelson Foundation, Dr. Michelson released a variety of intellectual property tools. The first, via his YouTube channel, is a series of nine Intellectual Property animation shorts answering such questions as "Can I Patent That?", "Do Patents Really Promote Innovation?" or "Is It Fair Use or Infringement?" These videos are part of an upcoming free intellectual property interactive textbook and for credit college course which will include a working explanation of patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Additionally, Dr. Michelson conceived of, funded, and drove the creation de novo of the first comprehensive authoritative textbook - The Intangible Advantage: Understanding Intellectual Property in the New Economy, written specifically for non-lawyers. In a companion project, Dr. Michelson has also created a complete course in Intellectual Property, appropriate for use at the college level.
In the August 2016 special issue of the Los Angeles Business Journal, Dr. Gary Michelson was listed among the 500 most influential people in Los Angeles.
He lives in Los Angeles with his wife Alya, and their three children.