Byline: Laura Klepacki

NEW YORK — With the help of Avon, construction began this month on the Irving Cancer Research Center, the third of a planned five-building biomedical center at Columbia University.
A $10 million gift from the Avon Products Foundation to Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian Hospital will help the new Cancer Center expand its breast-cancer research and clinical-care programs. A portion of the funding will be dedicated to aid low-income women in Manhattan.
The new building will house a comprehensive breast-cancer screening facility and research laboratories. The building is named for businessman and philanthropist Herbert Irving who donated $61 million toward the $131 million project.
“The Avon Products Foundation Breast Cancer Program at the Irving Cancer Center will have an immediate and dramatic impact on many women by combining high-impact research with enhanced patient care,” said Karen Antman, director of the Center. “This flagship program will not only expedite the search for effective prevention and curative treatment, but also will broaden significantly the Center’s services for the medically underserved.”
The Center is slated to open in the spring of 2003.