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Eric Lefkofsky: Bridging the Gap Between Technology and Cancer Treatment

E-commerce billionaire Eric Lefkofsky, founder of Groupon, has refocused his energy to develop a new company that is set to change the course of cancer treatment and research. His new health-tech company Tempus is building an infrastructure to modernize cancer treatment by creating a database containing the genetic information of cancer patients and the treatments that were successful in initiating regression. Having donated millions to cancer research, he has decided to take a more hands on approach.


Eric recognized the slow pace of medical technology, realizing that the extensive amount of patient data being collected lacked a cohesive means of analysis. Once established this database would be used to analyze and compare a patient’s genetic code through statistical analysis and proprietary algorithms that focus on specific treatments that have worked with patients who share a similar genetic profile. Eric states that “not only will this extend our knowledge of potential actionable targets by a thousand-fold… it will allow us to truly personalize the drugs and therapies for each patient.”


By taking an individualized approach Tempus hopes to increase a patient’s lifespan, and possibly lead doctors in finding a cure. They have already enlisting prominent hospitals, along with geneticist Kevin White of the Institute for Genomics and Systems Biology, to collect large amounts of data from patients with breast, lung, and pancreatic cancer. His team hopes to add more conditions soon.


A co-founder of Lightbank, Uptake Technologies, Mediaocean, Echo Global Logistics, and InnerWorkings, Eric Lefkofsky has donated millions in the name of cancer research, and has pledged to donate half of his lifetime’s wealth to philanthropy. He and his wife Liz established the Lefkofsky Family Foundation to provide community support through programs like the Academy for Urban School Leadership, Americans for Responsible Solutions, and the American Brain Tumor Association. He currently serves as trustee of Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Science and Industry and World Business Chicago. He also serves as adjunct professor at the University of Chicago and is the author of Accelerated Disruption. Eric graduated from the University of Michigan Law School as a Doctor of Law.


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