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Horwitz nets $650,000 from Avon Foundation for breast cancer outreach and research

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Author Staff | Publish Date July 7, 2009

Color photo of Kathryn Horwitz, breast cancer researcher

Gift brings total giving from Avon to $7 million

Kate Horwitz, PhD, a breast cancer researcher at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and distinguished professor of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, has received $650,000 from the Avon Foundation for Women in support of various breast cancer outreach and research programs.

The gift brings Avon’s total giving to UCCC and the University of Colorado Foundation to just over $7 million since 2001.

“Avon’s gifts have been invaluable in support of our outreach programs to medically underserved women in the Denver Metro area, and our basic and clinical research programs,” Horwitz said.

The Avon Foundation presented the gift on June 27 at the end of the 2009 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer Rocky Mountains. More than 1,400 walkers raised $2.6 million for state-wide breast cancer programs during the event.

“The walkers, including breast cancer survivors, are magnificent and inspirational,” Horwitz said.

Carol Kurzig, President of the Avon Foundation told Horwitz: “Our Foundation team unanimously votes Colorado walkers to be among the fittest of all of our nine Avon Walks! The Foundation gladly continues our partnership that allows the University of Colorado to increase its community efforts and conduct cutting-edge breast cancer research.”

The funding will support patient access to care programs, including the Comadre Program, Project Survivorship Outreach to Latinas (Project SOL), and MRI screening for High Risk women. In addition, funds will support cutting-edge research projects that collectively aim to understand how age at first full term pregnancy alters risk of breast cancer, how breast cancer stem cells predispose to treatment resistance, and to develop markers associated with hormone responsiveness or metastatic spread.

In the past, Horwitz has used Avon Foundation funding to buy critical equipment. Avon funds purchased a mobile mammography van used by UCCC consortium member Denver Health to increase access to breast cancer screening and to support programs for breast cancer survivors. Avon funds were also used to equip UCCC’s Laser Capture Microdissection core lab of UCCC.

The University of Colorado Cancer Center is the Rocky Mountain region’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. NCI has given only 40 cancer centers this designation, deeming membership as “the best of the best.” Headquartered on the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus, UCCC is a consortium of three state universities (Colorado State University, University of Colorado at Boulder and University of Colorado Denver) and five institutions (The Children’s Hospital, Denver Health, Denver VA Medical Center, National Jewish Health and University of Colorado Hospital). Together, our 400+ members are working to ease the cancer burden through cancer care, research, education and prevention and control. Learn more at www.uccc.info.

Founded in 1967, the nonprofit CU Foundation partners with the University of Colorado to raise, manage, and invest private support for the university's benefit. Our donors help the university transform lives through education, research, clinical care, and community engagement. Visit www.cufund.org for more information.