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Eric Lefkofsky Looks for Cure in DNA


It is expected that by 2025, over nineteen million people in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer. While most people are worried about getting the disease in the first place, very few people worry about how their patient information is stored and how that effects their care. Eric Lefkofsky, co-founder of Tempus, didn’t think about this either until his wife, Liz, was diagnosed with breast cancer. He was able to see the problems in how the data in patient information was stored and knew he wanted to find something better. This is why Lefkofsky co-founded Tempus, a tech company that seeks to act as an operating system for cancer care and eventually patient care across the globe.

This goal would not only be achieved by streamlining the data collection and processing for information that is already collected but not turned into readable, structured data. In many cases, handwritten progress notes are lost quickly because they are not able to be properly captured into the system. Through Tempus’ optical character recognition and natural language processing, this no longer will have to be the case.

Along with traditionally curated data, Tempus seeks to mainstream collecting individual genetic sequencing to help determine care on a patient’s particular body chemistry. While once costing millions of dollars, the process is now only around five thousand dollars and dropping. The collection of this information would not only help find treatments most suitable for an individual, but it will also allow information to be collected and analyzed globally from patients across the network in order to eventually find links to cures and advanced treatments.

Lefkofsky received his Juris Doctor at the University of Michigan Law School and is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Chicago. Lefkofsky also co-founded Lightbank, a disruptive technology investment firm, and Groupon. He made the decision to step aside from his role of CEO of groupon to chairman to be able to invest more energy and resources into Tempus.

Eric Lefkofsky founded the Lefkofsky Foundation alongside his wife. His organization has a particular focus on children and helping those in and around the greater Chicago area and has helped more than fifty organizations.

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