...Changing The World

What We Do

At the heart of the Michelson Medical Research Foundation is its founder: Dr. Gary K. Michelson, a board-certified Orthopedic Spinal Surgeon with more than 25 years of practical experience, 110 research papers / publications to his credit and no less than 950 issued or internationally pending patents that have heavily contributed to the field of spinal surgery.

Dr. Michelson, who was partly raised by his grandmother, witnessed seeing her burn her hand in contact with a hot stove due to a spinal deformity which forbade her from asserting correct temperatures.

This trauma influenced Dr. Michelson to put himself through medical school, complete a residency in orthopedic surgery then fulfilling a fellowship in spinal surgery before setting off on a path to become a highly sought innovator in the field of spinal research.

Later establishing minimally invasive surgery procedures, creating then further enhancing groundbreaking spinal surgery tools which, over the years, have led to significant improvements in the treatment of spinal disorders, Dr. Michelson has been infusing the Michelson Medical Research Foundation (founded in 1995 as the Gary Karlin Michelson, M.D. Charitable Foundation, Inc.) with his initiative spirit, his inventor’s vision and, more recently, his entrepreneurial sensibility. [1]

With over $100 million donated to forward thinking medical research, from developing innovative spine injury / disorder treatments to new vaccine development aimed at eradicating infectious diseases, the Michelson Medical Research Foundation has allowed researchers, practitioners near complete freedom in breaking new grounds or improving already existing treatments.

On an entrepreneurship level, the Michelson Medical Research Foundation has long recognized the need to support our next generation of leaders in business and research.

As a proud sponsor of the Wharton Business Plan Competition (founded 1998), the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition (founded 1990) and the Business Association of Stanford Entrepreneurial Students, the Michelson Medical Research Foundation has a longstanding history of supporting technological, business innovation and entrepreneurship in the nation’s premier universities. With over $350K in prizes distributed to aspiring entrepreneurs, the Michelson Medical Research Foundation has been encouraging collaboration between student entrepreneurs and seasoned mentors at graduate and post graduate levels.

Now involved in Bioscience, the Michelson Medical Research Foundation recently donated $50 million dollars to University of Southern California to fund the upcoming USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience, a facility intended to bring together experts across disciplines to allow for innovative and collaborative research. Additionally, the Michelson Foundation funds the $75 million Michelson Prize and Grants in Reproductive Biology.

Outside of the medical and entrepreneurship realms, the Michelson Medical Research Foundation also supports efforts to improve animal welfare through the Found Animals Foundation, Inc., increased access to higher education via the Twenty Million Minds Foundation, Inc.

Dr. Gary K. Michelson is vigilant not only about funding research but also in ensuring that quality research is being conducted that will truly allow for innovations in the field.


  1. Michelson Medical Research Foundation, Inc. [Foundation Directory Online, Foundation Center]
Back to Top