Dr. Gary MichelsonFounder of the Michelson 20MM Foundation and Publisher of The Intangible Advantage.
About Dr. Gary Michelson
Dr. Michelson was born and raised in Philadelphia. At 17 years of age, he worked to put himself through college, and later, through medical school. He attended Temple University and Hahnemann Medical College (now Drexel University) followed by a fellowship in spinal surgery at St. Luke’s, a joint program of Texas Medical Center in association with Baylor University.
Disappointed with the very low success rates and unreliability of the spinal surgical procedures at that time, he spent the next 20 years developing new implants, surgical procedures, and the instruments required to carry out those procedures. These technological breakthroughs have made spinal surgery far less invasive and far more effective.
The Michelson procedures diminished the blood loss, pain, disability, and recovery time associated with the older procedures. These new procedures require minimal hospital time even to the point where many of them can be done on an outpatient basis. The likelihood of success for these newer procedures has been consistently very high, and the time for return to full activity has been substantially reduced. Throughout the world these new procedures have become the most dominant means of treating both the common spinal disorders as well as those which are the most debilitating. Millions of patients have already benefitted from these inventions.
Dr. Michelson is the most prolific inventor in the history of medicine, and is the sole named inventor of more than 950 already issued patents throughout the world. He is one of very few people ever inducted into both the National Inventors Hall of Fame as well as the National Academy of Inventors.
Michelson Medical Research Foundation
The Michelson Medical Research Foundation was established by Dr. Gary Michelson in 2005 with an initial gift of 100 million dollars. The foundation funds cutting edge medical research that would be considered too avant garde to be funded by NIH or likely to receive funding by other conventional sources.
Michelson Found Animals Foundation
The Michelson Found Animals Foundation, (FAF), also founded in 2005, is directly involved in saving and improving the lives of companion animals. Michelson FAF is decreasing the number of animals coming into the municipal animal shelters to be euthanized by creating and funding both free and low cost spay & neuter facilities including mobile units to bring those services to where the need is the greatest.
Dr. Michelson and FAF were the main drivers and supporters of the creation and qualification of the California Pet Lovers License Plate, with funds going to support zero cost spay and neuter services.
FAF also provides microchips and registration for the life of the animal at zero or extremely low cost so that lost pets can be returned to their owners rather than be euthanized. Foundation grants and awards have been used to raise millions of dollars for use by the local shelters and rescues.
In another program the foundation goes into the municipal animal shelters and collects animals that would have been euthanized the following day and adopts them out from their own Adopt and Shops. Michelson Found Animals has grown substantially, and its 60 full-time employees and several hundred volunteers have touched the lives of 1.5 million pets and counting.
Michelson 20MM Foundation
Finally, founded in 2010, The Michelson 20MM Foundation has been catalytic in increasing access, affordability, and efficacy in higher education through the use of innovative technologies and new educational models.
It’s $1.5 million grant to Openstax College in 2010 provided for the creation of the first high quality, digital, fully downloadable and interactive college level textbooks available to students at zero cost.
With research showing over two-thirds of college students opting out of buying textbooks, and of those students, 94 percent say they suffer academically, addressing the broken textbook market has been of critical importance to the Michelson 20MM Foundation.
The Openstax College textbooks correspond to more than 50% of the courses required at the community college level for the first two years of a four-year program. The initiative’s first 7 textbooks adopted for use in nearly 900 courses at community colleges, four-year colleges, universities, and high schools have saved students more that $13 million. Openstax plans to expand its library to 21 titles by 2017.
Michelson 20MM also founded the first philanthropic higher education accelerator focused on social impact investing. Ultimately, the goal is to serve as the bridge that connects institutions, innovators, and policymakers solving the most pressing issues in postsecondary and vocational education so that all students around the world should have access to an affordable, equitable, and high-quality education that leads to a meaningful career.
Inspired by its benefactor’s robust career Michelson 20MM also led the development of in depth intellectual property book, video series, and course, aimed at ordinary citizens with the guidance of highly knowledgeable consultants in patent law. The Intangible Advantage fills a great need in American education with a commitment to educate young people today on the basics of intellectual property and its value and role in science, business, arts, and the professions in today’s knowledge economy.
America Invests Act
$50MM USC Bioscience Center Grant
Dr. Michelson has been a longtime promoter and supporter of entrepreneurial competitions at various business schools throughout the country.
Awards and Honors
Paralyzed Veterans Award
America Invents Act
Albert B. Sabin Award
IP Owners Association
National Inventors Hall of Fame
In 2011, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in Washington, D.C.