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January 13, 2014

$50-Million Gift Advances Planned USC Bioscience Building

A retired surgeon who amassed a fortune inventing implants, instruments, and other devices to improve spinal procedures has donated $50-million toward construction of a biomedical research institution at the University of Southern California, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Donor Gary K. Michelson did not attend or work at USC but said he met with top campus researchers and was impressed by their plans to gather experts from various fields in new center to collaborate on detection and treatment methods. Ground is expected to broken this year on the 190,000-square-foot facility, to be named the USC Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience.

University officials said the gift accounts for less than half of the building's anticipated cost but was crucial to moving the project forward. USC said it has now raised more than half of its $6-billion goal in a seven-year fundraising drive launched in 2011.