Eric Lefkofsky and Tempus – Making Medical Miracles

Just over a decade ago, sequencing the human genome seemed to be the miracle, the Holy Grail, that was on the horizon. Once it was done, the first time in 2003, the question of what to do next has hovered as everyone has scrambled to make practical applications for this technical marvel that match the promise of a miracle attained. In a nutshell, how could this achievement be used to improve medicine and healthcare in a realistic and useful way, and the answer to that fundamental question may just be a start-up called Tempus from the co-founder of Groupon, Eric Lefkofsky.

Tempus provides a combination of software and platform working to crunch both clinical and molecular data to deliver results that are tailored patient by patient. At the same time, it builds a foundation of information that, when analyzed, gives medicine the building blocks for better and more effective treatments in the overall battle against cancer. By pairing genome sequencing for a cancer patient with the clinical doctor’s knowledge of that patient’s disease, Tempus works to get an end result of higher-level, targeted treatments that work better and faster.

As a start-up, Tempus could probably have no one better at the helm than Eric Lefkofsky. A dedicated entrepreneur, he has founded at least seven companies since his Juris Doctorate graduation from the University of Michigan Law School in 1993. While his companies are certainly tech-driven as all of his companies tend to be, Lefkofsky serves the creative dreamer as well, serving on boards that include the Steppenwolf Theater Company and the Art Institute, both in Chicago.

Rising, at least in part, out of the eye-opening experience of Lefkofsky’s wife’s personal fight with cancer, he could see the huge gaps between what could be possible using modern data tech and what is actually done within the medical community for treating the disease. In the end, those gaps have to close, and Tempus may be just what’s needed to get the job done, making for a medical miracle that over 15 million Americans pray for on a daily basis.

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