Eric Lefkofsky: Harnessing Big Data To Aid Cancer Research

Doctors draw on their previous experience when deciding which cancer treatment to recommend for patients, however, Eric Lefkofsky wants physicians to also have access to the outcome data from people with a similar DNA and RNA makeup as their patient. Until now, drawing on both therapeutic data and genomic information to determine the most effective therapies requires obtaining a grant and then performing a study.

Lefkofsky founded Lightbank, a VC firm, and then started Tempus, a company that enables doctors to make data-driven treatment decisions in real-time. Tempus, one of Lightbank’s startups, aggregated big data into a database using proprietary algorithms to give doctors a way to personalize their patient’s treatment plans.

Lefkofsky donates generously to cancer research through the Lefkofsky Family Foundation. Institutions benefiting from the Lefkofsky’s largess include the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University; Stanford University; the University of Michigan and New York’s Weill Cornell Medicine. By founding Tempus, Lefkofsky is doing more than donating money; he is enabling doctors to tailor treatment for patients based on their genetic make-up. Seeing cancer researchers collect overwhelming amounts of data looking for patterns, Lefkofsky knew that he could help them analyze all of the data. Lefkofsky and his wife also donate to the arts; they have provided Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art with a grant to offer free admission for youth.

Chicago’s notable entrepreneur co founded Groupon, and multiple other companies including Uptake Technologies and Echo Global Logistics. He has taken three of his companies public, including Groupon, InnerWorkings and Echo Global Logistics.

Lefkofsky currently serves as Groupon’s chairman and as CEO of Tempus. Involvement in his community is important to Lefkofsky; he serves as a trustee of The Museum of Science and Industry, Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, World Business Chicago and The Art Institute of Chicago to learn more: click here.