A $1 million gift from the Howard and Maryam Newman Family Foundation to Yale School of Medicine will benefit the Yale Spine Center and the Department of Neurosurgery, and support the center’s neurological robotic surgery initiative under the direction of Khalid M. Abbed, M.D., associate professor of neurosurgery and chief of the spine section in the Department of Neurosurgery.

Howard Newman, B.A., M.A. ’69, is chair and CEO of Pine Brook Road Partners, a private equity firm, and his wife Maryam Razavi Newman, M.D., is a psychoanalyst. They were inspired to support Abbed’s work at the Spine Center after Maryam Newman suffered a fall and required a complex, two-day surgery to correct the effects of her injury.

“We were very impressed not only by his skills, but also his personality, his willingness to spend time with us, to answer our questions, and the caring and warmth he projected,” she says.

“Khalid’s a star,” says Howard Newman. With belief in his abilities and vision, the Newmans decided to support Abbed’s efforts to expand and enhance the Yale Spine Center’s robotics initiative, to be called the Howard and Maryam Newman Neurosurgical Robotic and Operative Navigation Program.

“Because of the Newmans’ generous gift, we will be able to develop the most advanced and minimally invasive surgical techniques and technologies that will benefit patients in the future,” says Abbed. “This new program will also enable us to teach students, residents, fellows, and other surgeons from around the world in the field of neurosurgical robotics and navigation.”

“It will be good for Yale, and good for the community,” says Howard Newman. “We are delighted to play a part in helping Khalid expand the medical school’s expertise in this area.”

The Newmans are long-standing donors to Yale University. The Howard and Maryam Newman Scholarship Fund supports one student in each of Yale College’s residential colleges, each of whom comes to Yale from a non-traditional background, such as being the first in her/his family to go to college or being a first generation American. They also have endowed a chair in philosophy.

Howard Newman has served on the University Council and the Board of the Yale Climate and Energy Institute, and as chair of the Yale Alumni Fund.

“We believe in Yale’s mission and priorities,” he says. “Yale has a commitment to openness and diversity, as well as to scholarship and inquiry, which we appreciate. We want to make the Yale experience available to as many people as possible.”