University President C. L. Max Nikias announced a $50 million donation from Dr. Gary Michelson to fund the establishment of the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience on Monday morning.
Dr. Michelson, a retired orthopedic spinal surgeon, has over 955 issued or pending patents to date, as well as a place in the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
The Michelson Center will bring together the brightest minds from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. The schools will work together at the Center to research the convergence between biology and engineering.
The university plans to build the Michelson Center on the southwest corner of the University Park Campus, and Nikias said the new building will house state-of-the-art flexible labs, a Center for Electron Microscopy and Analysis, and a nano fabrication facility, among other labs.
Nikias spoke of the importance of interdisciplinary research to the crowd of students and faculty that gathered for the announcement at Town and Gown.
“One of the most important parts of education is our dedication to interdisciplinary research,” Nikias said. “At many other universities, ‘interdisciplinary’ is no more than a buzzword. USC turns colleges from diverse disciplines into creative collaboration.”
Dr. Michelson thanked the USC community for agreeing to host the institute and spoke to the importance of research that makes an impact on the world, not research for sake of research alone.
“The [Michelson Center] will converge research to produce real world breakthroughs in real time,” he said. “This is going to be a grand adventure, and we thank you.”