Eric Lefkofsky, Tempus, and a New Era of Cancer Research

Eric Lefkofsky, J.D., has always been an entrepreneur and a lover of technology. As the co-founder of several big-name companies like Groupon, Echo Global Logistics, and Mediaocean (to name just a few), he has a track record of pushing the limits of how society implements technology. His projects focus on using technology to increase efficiency, communication, and understanding.

With Tempus, he’s taking all that a step further. Tempus is a Chicago-based genetic sequencing company, co-founded by Lefkofsky, that wants to redefine how genomic data is used to fight cancer. Lefkofsky also serves as its CEO. Tempus’s labs don’t just collect molecular data; the company also provides a platform for that data to be analyzed in an unprecedented way. “We built a system to help physicians in clinic analyze incredible amounts of data and make real-time decisions to more effectively treat patients,” Lefkofsky said of Tempus. Tempus’s goal is to fight cancer by giving patients access to personalized treatment plans and by giving physicians the the tools that they need to analyze data effectively and share that data with others.

Now in 2017, Tempus is partnering specifically with University of Chicago Medicine to help with breast cancer research. Tempus will be sequencing and analyzing data from around 1,000 breast cancer patients. Even though breast cancer is one of the more common cancers treated by University of Chicago Medicine, professor of medicine and human genetics Dr. Olufunmilayo Olopade says that “there is relatively little accessible data on the millions of patients who have battled the disease.” Tempus wants to change that.Eric Lefkofsky and the other brilliant minds at Tempus believe that if they can help physicians and researchers uncover patterns about how breast cancer patients respond to treatment, they can help create personalized plans that are more effective for treating future patients.Tempus’s partnership with University of Chicago Medicine marks the beginning of a new era of cancer research, one which Lefkofsky hopes will make a difference in the way physicians treat breast cancer.

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