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P&S Journal

P&S Journal: Fall 1997, Vol.17, No.3
P & S News
Second Audubon Building Dedicated to Research

Despite the fact that Columbia has the largest medical research enterprise in New York and medical research funding has nearly doubled in the past decade, the Hammer Health Sciences Center completed in the mid-1970s was the last dedicated research facility on campus. That changed May 30, when University and political leaders dedicated the Russ Berrie Medical Science Pavilion in the Audubon Biomedical Science and Technology Park at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center.

Ribbon Cutting Photo by Jonathan Smith
Shown at the ribbon cutting for the Russ Berrie Medical Science Pavilion, from left, are Dr. Herbert Pardes, Gov. George Pataki, Russ and Angelica Berrie, Columbia President George Rupp, and Sen. Alfonse D'Amato.
The new $66 million, seven-story, 175,000-gross-square-foot facility is the second of five planned structures in Audubon Park, the first and only university-related research park in New York City. The Mary Woodard Lasker Medical Research Building, the first building constructed in the park, now houses 15 biotechnology companies.

Distinguished guests and speakers at the May 30 event included New York Gov. George Pataki; Sen. Alfonse D'Amato; Columbia President George Rupp; Russell Berrie, the major donor for the building; Walter Burke and Bonnie Burke Himmelman of the Sherman Fairchild Foundation; and Jerry I. Speyer, chairman of Columbia University Trustees.

The completion of the Berrie Pavilion marks another accomplishment in the Health Sciences 10-year capital expansion program that began in 1990. It doubles lab space for cancer research, devotes two floors to an expanded $30 million genetics program, and will house New York's most comprehensive diabetes research and treatment center.

The building is named for Russ Berrie, founder of Russ Berrie and Company Inc., who donated $13.5 million to name the pavilion and create a comprehensive diabetes center. The balance was funded by a $10 million gift from the Fairchild Foundation, plus a mix of federal, state, and Columbia University money.

The building's second floor will house the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center, named in honor of Mr. Berrie's mother who, like her son, had diabetes. The center will open to patients in 1998.

Columbia's Genome Center will occupy two floors in the building. A recent $30 million agreement between Columbia and VIMRx Pharmaceuticals has contributed to a major expansion of the genome center.

An expanded research program in pediatrics will occupy approximately 12,000 square feet of space, a significant portion of which will be occupied by a new division of molecular genetics that is interested in the molecular mechanisms that control body weight and mediate susceptibility to diabetes. Space also will be dedicated to cancer research.

copyright ©, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center

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