WASHINGTON, D.C. — March 25, 2015 — The Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) will present the Albert B. Sabin Humanitarian Award to Gary Michelson, MD, a distinguished orthopedic spinal surgeon and inventor, in recognition of his extraordinary philanthropy and commitment toward the control and elimination of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) through high-level advocacy and vaccine research and development. He will be honored today at a private event with Sabin’s executive leadership, Board of Trustees and key members of the scientific community in Houston, Texas.

“We are pleased to honor Dr. Gary Michelson whose advocacy, research and tremendous generosity has enabled millions of people to live healthier, more productive lives,” said Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, president of Sabin. “An innovator and entrepreneur, Dr. Michelson’s impact on the field of science and technology is undeniable. We also greatly admire his leadership in the advancement of science through philanthropy — a quality that distinguishes him among scientists. This commitment is evident in his work with various foundations and significant investments in cutting-edge medical research.” 

His inventions, including surgical instruments known as “Michelson devices,” are widely acknowledged for making spinal surgery safer, faster, more effective and less expensive. He continues to push for innovative advancements through philanthropic investments in medical research and bioscience that could potentially help some of the world’s poorest, most marginalized communities.

“If out of sight is out of mind, then I can think of no area of medicine where so very many people are being adversely impacted that is more in need of being brought to the consciousness of the rest of the world,” said Dr. Michelson, in reference to the scourge of NTDs.

Since his retirement from medical practice, Dr. Michelson has fully dedicated himself to philanthropic efforts and founded several charitable organizations that focus primarily on genetic research, an open architecture platform for higher education textbooks, and animal welfare. In addition, the Michelson Medical Research Foundation, which supports forward thinking initiatives in medical science, has made generous investments in the Michelson Fund for NTDs Global Awareness and the Michelson Neglected Disease Vaccine Initiative. These investments have raised awareness and mobilized new resources to increase treatment programs for NTD control and elimination and supported game-changing vaccine research and development initiatives for NTDs, respectively.

The Albert B. Sabin Humanitarian Award recognizes an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to reduce needless human suffering from vaccine-preventable and neglected tropical diseases. The award commemorates the legacy of Dr. Albert B. Sabin, who developed the oral live virus polio vaccine that is widely heralded for contributing to the near eradication of polio worldwide.

Previous recipients include doctors and researchers, such as Franklin H. Top Jr., MD, and Wayne T. Hockmeyer, PhD, as well as philanthropists from the media and entertainment industry, among them Larry King and Paul Simon.


About the Sabin Vaccine Institute

The Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization of scientists, researchers and advocates dedicated to reducing needless human suffering from vaccine-preventable and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Since its founding in 1993 in honor of Dr. Albert B. Sabin, the developer of the oral polio vaccine, Sabin has been at the forefront of global efforts to eliminate, prevent and cure infectious and neglected tropical diseases.

Sabin develops new vaccines, advocates for increased use of existing vaccines and promotes expanded access to affordable medical treatments in collaboration with governments, academic institutions, scientists, medical professionals and other non-profit organizations. For more information please visit www.sabin.org.


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