Eric Lefkofsky: An Entrepreneur Involved In The Fight Against Cancer

In a recent blog post entitled ‘Death to Cancer, Byte by Byte’, entrepreneur Eric Lefkofsky says there’s an urgent need to use data science to help cure cancer because it’s finally possible. There are two transformative advances taking place in science today. Scientists can sequence a cancer patient’s entire genome affordably and doctors are growing in their understanding of how to fight cancer using the human immune system. The next step is creating data-driven approaches to matching the optimal cancer therapy to the cancer patient’s genetic makeup.

The FDA recently announced the approval of a type of immunotherapy designed to treat cancers based on its specific genomic profile. It’s the first time the FDA used genomic profile instead of anatomical tumor type as the criteria for the drug approval process. Scientists still don’t know why immunotherapy helps some patients and not others. Technology company Tempus has gathered about 150 geneticists, computational biologists and immunologists to work with the company’s engineers and data scientists to answer that question.

Combining the genomic and clinical data of each patient is the key to deciding on the right cancer therapy for a specific clinical context. To do this requires advanced computing technology to analyze tumor biopsy images, process clinical records and integrate RNA and DNA information. Mankind now has the tools eradicate cancer, Eric Lefkofsky explained.

A native of Detroit, Michigan, entrepreneur Eric Lefkofsky is the co-founder and CEO of the technology company Tempus. The company built a groundbreaking operating system designed to help doctors and researchers in their battle to eradicate cancer. Lefkofsky also co-founded the e-commerce marketplace Groupon, venture fund Lightbank, Uptake Technologies, Mediaocean, Echo Global Logistics and InnerWorkings.

Eric Lefkofsky has degrees from the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan Law School. He’s a University of Chicago adjunct professor and on the board of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company, The Art Institute of Chicago, Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, The Museum of Science and Industry as well as World Business Chicago.

A generous philanthropist, Eric Lefkofsky and Liz, his wife, established the private charitable Lefkofsky Family Foundation in 2006.