Eric Lefkofsky is best known as the the founder of Groupon but his impact may be much greater in another arena. Lefkofsky has recently co-founded a startup, Tempus, that seeks to use a 21st century approach to treating and possibly finding a cure for cancer.
A few years ago, Lefkofsky noted that there was no widely integrated infrastructure with respect to how clinical data was collected and utilized. Using cutting edge technology, Tempus allows for the compilation of large quantities of cancer patients’ genomic and clinical data. This enables doctors to see the bigger picture, customize it to the individual patient and better personalize treatment.
Having raised a total of $130 Mil thus far, Tempus seeks to change the way medical data is collected and utilized. In the medical field generally and in oncology specifically, datasets have been isolated, and lacking in any integrated organization. Lefkofsky, through Tempus, seeks to utilize new technology to allow for the compilation of enormous sets of data.
Seeking to work with the leaders in the field of cancer research, Tempus has announced partnerships with the Cleveland and Mayo Clinics, Duke University School of Medicine and others. According to the Tempus website, “…we are on a mission to redefine how genomic data is used in a clinical setting. Our goal is for each patient to benefit from the treatment of others who came before by providing physicians with tools that learn as we gather more data.”
In addition to being one of Chicago’s most successful and prominent entrepreneurs, Lefkofsky is a committed and active philanthropist. In 2006 he established the Lefkofsky Family Foundation with his wife Liz. He serves on a number of non-profit boards including The Art Institute of Chicago, the Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry and World Business Chicago.
Lefkofsky also finds time to lecture at the University of Chicago where he is an adjunct professor. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and his Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School.