Eric Lefkofsky’s Medical Journey: A Tech Leader Becomes a Cancer Care Visionary

Eric Lefkofsky

You may know Eric Lefkofsky as the co-founder and former CEO of Groupon, the online platform that supplies consumers with all kinds of coupons. In recent years, he’s gotten involved in other industries and enterprises, and one of them is health care.


In 2015, Eric Lefkofsky launched a company called Tempus and he now serves as its CEO. Today, Tempus is poised to revolutionize the ways in which doctors provide cancer care.


A Diverse Career


Born in Detroit in 1969, Eric Lefkofsky attended the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan Law School. As a college student, he sold carpeting, and since that time, his professional life has been highly varied.


In addition to Groupon, Eric has co-founded a range of companies over the years. They include companies such as Lightbank, an investing firm that finances high-tech startups, InnerWorkings, which gives companies a variety of marketing solutions, and Echo Logistics, a technology-enabled transportation and logistics outsourcing firm. Eric is also a prolific philanthropist and humanitarian. The Lefkofsky Family Foundation, which he and his wife created, funds research and community programs, especially those that are involved in medical research, cultural activities, education, and the advancement of human rights.


What’s more, Eric serves as a trustee on the boards of several renowned organizations in Chicago, among them the Art Institute and Lurie Children’s Hospital.


The Mission of Tempus


A few years ago, when Eric saw the cancer care process up close, he was shocked at how little data had permeated the clinic. To that end, he decided to create a cutting-edge operating system that could collect and process patients molecular and clinical information.


Indeed, Eric recognized a few important facts that have underpinned everything that Tempus has done since. First, he understood that the medical field possesses a vast trove of data that’s been extracted from patients over the decades.


Second, Eric perceived that so much of that data had yet to be put to work.


Eric launched Tempus in late 2015. Tempus is headquartered in Chicago and is dedicated to improving cancer care. The company is focused on making sure that doctors have the tools they need to tailor the therapies they give their cancer patients.


The Tempus team is made up of roughly 200 employees, and among their professional specialties are engineering, computer programming, genetics, data science, and computational biology.


An Evolving Company


Since its founding, Tempus has brought in at least $130 million from investors, and it’s now worth about $700 million. Among its most recent investors are the venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates, which focuses on medicine and technology, and Revolution Growth, a company that funds firms with the potential to transform society.


So far, Eric and his co-founder have invested more money in Tempus than any other individual or organization.


Furthermore, Tempus is collaborating with some of the world’s most respected medical institutions as it collects and analyzes data. They include the Cleveland Clinic and the Mayo Clinic.



Eric has noted that, since the original sequencing of a human genome in 2003, the cost of doing so has dropped exponentially. This newfound affordability makes the process of genome sequencing even more promising. At some point, perhaps every nuance and mystery of human life will be revealed.


Medical experts will thus be capable of observing every pathogen and mutation in microscopic detail, and doctors will be able to prescribe an ideal medication and a perfect dosage for every ailing person. It will be the stuff of science fiction made real.


Also worth noting, Tempus supports physicians efforts to evaluate whether their patient’s are candidates for immunotherapy, cancer therapies that take advantage of the immune system’s natural abilities. Those types of therapies work better for some people than others, and the Tempus aims to to find out why that’s the case.


Tempus will continue assembling and organizing incredibly large databases, and it will keep devising exclusive algorithms to sort through all of those details. In its scope and ambition, this compiling of genomic, cancer-related information is unprecedented. As the years go by, this platform will surely discover all sorts of new patterns. In the future, no cancer will stand a chance against the wonders of medicine.


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