Eric Lefkofsky has made a name for himself as the co-founder of Groupon, a highly innovative company that allows individuals to get heavy group discounts by forming temporary coalitions of buyers. But he is also one of the biggest names among the closed ranks of the nation’s philanthropy circles. Having donated tens of millions of dollars to Chicago-area cancer research alone, Lefkofsky is one of the state of Illinois’ biggest contributors and routinely leads the nation in yearly contributions to cancer research.
However, Lefkofsky has recently tired of being relegated to merely cheering from the sidelines. He has traded in his philanthropy hat and taken on the role of cancer research entrepreneur. Founding startup Tempus, in 2016, Lefkofsky is taking on one of the biggest challenges currently facing the medical industry. He is seeking to create a comprehensive analytic framework that ties in human genomic data to medical phenomena and treatment outcomes.
The idea all started when a member of Lefkofsky’s family fell ill with cancer. Over the course of two years, Lefkofsky was a first-hand witness to the inadequacies of data and intelligence being provided to oncologists and physicians. He noted wryly that oncology departments at major hospitals often have less access to quality data than the typical U.S. truck driver. He decided something could be done and learn more about Eric.
Over the next couple of years, Lefkofsky acquainted himself with the state of genomics science. It didn’t take long for him to conclude that it would be possible to give oncologists a far more granular view of the treatment outcomes of almost limitless patient cohorts. For example, with Tempus’ system, a patient who has a rare blood type and is African American may have dramatically different outcomes, when using the standard treatment regimen for a specific cancer type, than someone who more closely fits the profile of the general population. What’s more, individual cohorts may be created using powerful genomic-level data that gives oncologists a huge edge over today’s treatments when prescribing regimens for their patients and more information click here.
Through innovations like these, Lefosfksy hopes to diminish cancer mortality to a point that more or less constitutes a cure and Eric’s lacrosse camp.