University of Pittsburgh
February 4, 1999


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 5 -- Oliver Sacks, author of "Awakenings" and clinical professor of neurology at Albert Einstein Hospital, will speak about "Creativity and the Brain" on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. at the University of Pittsburgh David Lawrence Auditorium, Room 120, Forbes Avenue, Oakland. The event is free and open to the public, seating is limited.

Sacks administered the new drug L-DOPA in 1966 to patients who were survivors of the great sleeping sickness epidemic which killed millions in the 1920s. It was their experiences that Sacks wrote about in "Awakenings," which became the basis for the film starring Robert De Niro and Robin Williams.

In addition, Sacks is author of the best-selling work "An Anthropologist on Mars," and "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat," clinical stories about patients who suffer from neurological disorders. His latest work, "The Island of the Colorblind," recounts his trip to the Pacific Islands of Pingelap, where a significant percentage of the population is colorblind, and Guam, where many people born before 1950 suffer from a disease similar to the one he treated with L-DOPA. He also was featured in a multi-part BBC-TV series called "Oliver Sacks: The Mind Traveler."

The lecture, presented by Pitt's Graduate Program for Cultural Studies, is co-sponsored by the Department of English Writing Program, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Center for the Philosophy of Science, the Center for Neuroscience, the Provost, and the Departments of Neurology, Neurological Surgery, and Psychiatry of the School of Medicine.

There will be sign language interpreters for the hearing impaired. For more information about the event, call Cultural Studies at 412-624-7232.



Note to Editors: Lights and flashes are not permitted during the speech; they are allowed during the question and answer session.