“I don’t like starting companies,” says 47-year-old tech founder Eric Lefkofsky. But after his wife’s battle with cancer, he felt he had no choice. The life-changing experience led him to found Tempus, a company that provides molecular data to doctors and may revolutionize the future cancer treatment.
The idea was sparked by his dismay at discovering how little data was available to doctors when determining the best treatment for cancer patients. “I was amazed that we were giving better technology to truck drivers than we were giving doctors making life and death decisions,” said Lefkofsky.
Tempus is a completely self-funded company, employing a small army of tech experts, data scientists, and doctors whose ranks are swelling by the week. Together they have created a cutting-edge operating system that uses genomic sequencing to create unique molecular profiles for cancer patients. Once a profile is created, Tempus searches its continually growing database for patients with similar profiles and sends the information straight to physicians. This allows doctors to pinpoint each patient’s particular mutations and see which treatments have been most effective in battling those mutations in the past. Medical organizations that are already employing Lefkofsky’s advanced technological arsenal include Northwestern University, the University of Michigan, the Mayo Clinic, and the University of Chicago.
Eric Lefkofsky’s efforts to serve humanity are not limited to cancer research. In addition to founding a private charitable foundation, he is heavily involved in culture and philanthropy in his home city of Chicago, where he serves a trustee for Lurie Children’s Hospital, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, The Art Institute of Chicago, and The Museum of Science and Industry and World Business Chicago.
Lefkofsky graduated from the University of Michigan and is now an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago. He has had great success entrepreneurial world, co-founding a number of diverse and innovative companies. According to Lefkofsky, however, Tempus is “the most meaningful in every metric,” and poised to become his greatest success.
Eric Lefkofsky may not like starting companies, but Tempus is worth it.