Irving Gift Launches Groundbreaking for Third Building in Columbia’s University’s Audubon Biomedical Science & Technology Park
New York, NY, February 9, 2001—Thanks to a $21 million gift, construction will begin this year on the third building in Columbia University’s ambitious five building complex, the Audubon Biomedical Science and Technology Park. The Irving Cancer Research Center, named for New York City philanthropist and food distribution executive Herbert Irving, will double Columbia’s available laboratory space for cancer research and will expand Columbia’s growing genetics program. With this gift, Mr. Irving becomes the largest donor in the history of Columbia-Presbyterian, having given nearly $61 million to the medical center.
The first building in Audubon Park, known as the Mary Woodard Lasker Biomedical Research Building developed in partnership with Columbia University, and the City and State of New York, houses 15 biotechnology companies. Located adjacent to Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, the facility is an incubator for new start-up biotechnology and biomedically related companies and is the linchpin in efforts to help the city attract its share of the multi-billion dollar biotechnology industry by fostering collaboration between industry and academic science. Columbia has more than 270 active license collaborations with industry and is the nation’s top-ranking university in revenue it derives from technology transfer activities.
“As the home of the Irving Cancer Research Center, Audubon’s third building will be crucial to Columbia’s goals as a great university in the world’s greatest city,” said Columbia President George Rupp. “This building, like those it joins, will also help foster the economic strength of this diverse and very lively community. The work we do here together will lead to the kinds of discoveries and scientific breakthroughs that people everywhere look to for a fuller and more enjoyable life. Columbia is proud to lead this effort.”
“Biomedical research is one of the strongest areas of opportunity for attracting funding, founding new biotechnology companies, creating jobs, and stimulating the city’s economy, while simultaneously producing major new scientific discoveries that will lead to lifesaving treatments,” says Gerald Fischbach, M.D., Columbia University’s Vice President for Health and Biomedical Sciences, Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine. “The Irving
Cancer Research Center is another way Columbia continues to expand its outreach to New York and
into its own community.”
The Audubon Biomedical Science and Technology Park will eventually consist of five academic and commercial research facilities. Audubon brings medical advances from the laboratory to the bedside through innovative biotechnology underlying new medical treatments, technologies, and therapies. As New York City’s only university-related research park—housing the only biotechnology business incubator in the city—Audubon supplies the structure and organization to facilitate developments in biotechnology that will ensure improved health care, while contributing to economic growth through the creation of private sector research collaborations and the generation of new biomedically related business.
The creation of the Irving Cancer Research Center, a state-of-the-art building bringing basic scientists and clinicians working on cancer, genetics and cell biology together in one site, will encourage collaborative efforts, building on Columbia’s important contributions in medical research and treatment. The 13-story, approximately 300,000-gross-square-foot facility will cost $131 million.
“Mr. Irving has been the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center’s major benefactor, initially supporting state-of-the-art facilities for adults and children with cancer and now investing in the basic research of the cancer center. Research is the key to understanding how cancer develops and to identifying targets for interventions to cure or even prevent cancer,” says Karen Antman, M.D., Wu Professor of Medicine (Oncology) and director, Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center.
A $10 million gift from Avon Products Foundation to Columbia University and the NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital will help the cancer center expand its breast cancer research and clinical care. A portion of the gift will be used to support screening and comprehensive breast cancer care for indigent women in northern Manhattan. A comprehensive breast cancer screening facility and research laboratories will be located in the new building.
The new building is designed by Davis Brody Bond and will sit east of Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center on St. Nicholas Avenue between 166th and 167th streets in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. The building features nine floors of research space, underground parking, and clinical facilities. Occupancy of the building will begin in the spring of 2003.