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Elyn Saks  

Author of "The Center Cannot Hold;" Associate Dean of Law, Psychology & Behavioral Sciences at USC Law

Elyn R. Saks is the Orrin B. Evans Distinguished Professor of Law, Psychology, and Psychiatry and the Behavioral Sciences at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, an Associate Dean at the university, and the Founder and Faculty Director of the Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine and Faculty at the New Center for Psychoanalysis. Saks holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, a Ph.D. in Psychoanalytic Science from the New Center for Psychoanalysis, and a Master of Letters from Oxford University, which she attended as a Marshall Scholar. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and an affiliate member of the American Psychoanalytic Association.

Saks has written extensively in the area of law and mental health, with over fifty articles and book chapters as well as five books to her name, including her award-winning best-selling autobiography, "The Center Cannot Hold: My Journey Through Madness," where she candidly discusses her own experience living with schizophrenia. Her contributions to the field have garnered her numerous recognitions, including being named a 2009 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship winner. She used the award from this fellowship to establish the Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics.

Over the years, Saks has been a prominent voice in advocating for mental health, contributing opinion pieces and interviews to The New York Times, delivering a TED talk titled "A tale of mental illness -- from the inside," and speaking to members of the American Psychiatric Association. She has also been a graduation speaker at William James College. A testament to her impact, Saks had a hospital ward named after her at Pelham Woods Hospital in Dorking, England. In addition to managing her academic and advocacy work, Saks has also successfully navigated personal health challenges, including being a cancer survivor.

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