Inspired by their teen daughter, Sophie, Tim and Barbara Michels recently funded an endowed professorship in pediatric neurological surgery.

Diagnosed with a rare brain tumor at age 11, Sophie underwent a remarkable endoscopic surgical technique pioneered by Dr. Mark Souweidane, vice chairman, Department of Neurological Surgery; and director of pediatric neurosurgery, NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Sophie has since been a patient of Dr. Souweidane and has had additional endoscopic surgeries with great success.

To honor Dr. Souweidane’s groundbreaking work, Sophie’s grateful parents, Tim and Barbara Michels, have pledged $3 million to endow the Michels Family Professorship in Pediatric Neurological Surgery. The endowment – the first in pediatric neurosurgery at Weill Cornell Medicine – will help Dr. Souweidane innovate the promising field of endoscopic brain surgery.

“The generosity of the Michels family imparts an indelible mark on our program for children, who deserve the most innovative approaches to care for brain and spinal cord tumors,” Dr. Souweidane says. “This extraordinary gift will fuel creative pediatric brain tumor research at Weill Cornell Medicine, impacting the lives of countless families around the world.”

The Michels aren’t just doing something… they are doing something big.

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