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Dr Oliver Sacks to come to University of Warwick as visiting professor

Dr Oliver SacksThe University of Warwick is set to welcome renowned neurologist and author Dr Oliver Sacks, who will come to campus as a visiting professor.

Dr Sacks, who has authored best-selling books such as Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, will visit Warwick’s campus as part of the Institute of Advanced Study at least once a year.

He will be collaborating with academic colleagues in his own discipline, but also more broadly in the University’s public engagement work and in providing master classes, in particular to postgraduate students and post-doctoral researchers.

As Warwick has a relatively large number of postgraduate students and post-doctoral researchers, Dr Sacks will be particularly valued at the University.

The announcement follows Dr Sacks’ appointment as clinical professor of neurology at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York, and comes as a result of the close links between the University of Warwick and New York University.

Warwick is part of a consortium led by New York University which is building an applied science research institute, the Center for Urban Science and Progress (CUSP) in New York.

University of Warwick Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Nigel Thrift said: “We are privileged to have such a pre-eminent figure as Dr Sacks as a visiting professor at the University of Warwick, particularly as it comes as a result of our close collaboration with New York University.

“His distinguished academic background and commitment to public engagement will be of immense value and we look forward to welcoming him to campus.”

NYU Langone received a generous gift from The Gatsby Charitable Foundation to support Dr Sacks in this new role.

Dr Sacks has long-standing ties to NYU Langone, where for many years he has collaborated on unusual neurological conditions with his colleague Orrin Devinsky, MD, professor of neurology, neurosurgery and psychiatry, and Director of the NYU Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. Dr Devinsky is one of the dedicatees of Dr Sacks’s bestselling book Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain.

Dr Sacks recently completed a five-year residency at Columbia University in New York, where he was professor of neurology and psychiatry.

He also held the title of Columbia University Artist, in recognition of his contributions to the arts as well as to medicine.

Dr Sacks was born in London. He earned his medical degree at the University of Oxford (Queen’s College) and the Middlesex Hospital (now UCL), followed by residencies and fellowships at Mt. Zion Hospital in San Francisco and at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).

He holds honorary degrees from a dozen universities, including Gallaudet University, University of Oxford, and the Karolinska Institute.

He is a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and the Association of British Neurologists, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and has been a fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU for more than 25 years. In 2008, he was appointed CBE.

Dr Sacks’ work has been featured on CBS’s Sixty Minutes, PBS’s NOVA and on BBC television, as well as WNYC’s Radiolab.

He is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books, and is the author of 12 books, mostly neurological case histories, including The Mind's Eye, Musicophilia, Awakenings, and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.

For further information please contact:

Peter Dunn, email: p.j.dunn@warwick.ac.uk
Head of Communications, Communications Office, University House, University of Warwick,
Tel: 024 76 523708 Mobile 07767 655860

PR173 10th October 2012