Eric Lefkofsky: Using Data to Help Fight Breast Cancer

Eric Lefkofsky is the CEO and co-founder of a company that builds operating systems which can battle cancer. This technology company is called Tempus which is the world’s biggest clinical and molecular data library and an OS which grants access to this library and makes it useable.  Eric Lefkofsky is also a Chairman and co-founder of Groupon, a founding partner of Lightband and a co founder of Uptake Technologies.

The Lefkofsky Family Foundation was established in 2006 as a private charitable foundation serving Chicago communities by advancing initiatives which enhance lives. Currently Lefkofsky is a Trustee of The Art Institute, The Museum of Science and Industry, and the Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago and has written a book entitled Accelerated Disruption.

While at the University of Chicago Lefkofsky met the dean for global health and professor of medicine and human genetics Dr. Olufunmilayo Olopade. Olopade informed Lefkofsky that even though breast cancer is a common cancer, doctors don’t have readily accessible information to help them make precise decisions. The pair therefore teamed up to gather the data necessary for doctors to make better informed treatments. Tempus was created to be able to analyze the data of over 1,000 breast cancer patients using genomic sequencing and machine learning. It helps reserchers and doctors find patterns in how patients are responding to treatment.

Before, data on patients battling the disease was not accessible even though there are millions of cases. This meant that doctors had to make decisions on treatments without specific genetic information. With the help of Tempus a large portion of this data will become readily accessible. This means doctors will be able to use a patient’s specific genetic makeup, pair it with similar genetic information from other patients, and with Tempus find out which treatment has worked best on patients with a similar genetic makeup and what Eric knows.

This breakthrough technology from Tempus will give doctors at the University of Chicago the data they need to better help patients with breast cancer by providing them with a treatment specific to their genetic makeup.

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