Gary K. Michelson and Alya Michelson

Gary K. Michelson embodies invention and the merging of science and engineering to solve human health challenges. Over time, he’s made it his life’s work to spur others along in the pursuit of elegant solutions to these problems.

A retired orthopaedic spinal surgeon whose groundbreaking work generated more than 955 issued or pending patents worldwide, Michelson and his wife, Alya Michelson, donated $50 million to USC to fund the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience.

Gary and Alya Michelson
From left to right: Steve Kay, Alya Michelson, Gary Michelson and Yannis Yortsos

“Dr. Michelson’s generous gift is truly visionary, as it will bridge USC’s strengths in a broad range of disciplines, including the sciences, engineering, medicine, mathematics and computer science,” said USC President Emeritus C. L. Max Nikias. “The new USC Michelson Center will be a vibrant hub for innovation and will help create a major biomedical research corridor in Southern California.”

The center will be the cornerstone of a new collaboration between the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering that aims to transform how research is conducted at the intersection of engineering and the life and biomedical sciences.

“The gift is all about the promise of this convergent scientific method,” Michelson said. “With the University of Southern California as the place to stand and the ‘method’ as the ‘lever long enough,’ I expect that we will indeed move the world.”

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For more about Dr. Michelson, visit

For more about the Michelson Medical Research Foundation, visit