At first glance you would not think the bespeckled, handsome guy wearing jeans was a rich entrepreneur. He looks so kind. Not that rich entrepreneurs aren’t kind. It’s just that he looks so approachable. Well, that gentleman is Eric Lefkofsky, co-founder of Groupon. But what does that have to do with data enabled precision medicine referenced in the title? Well, the answer is that Groupon is not Lefkofsky’s only business investment. He is also a co-founder of Tempus, a Chicago-based company that has stream-lined, upgraded and computerized medical information into more easily retrievable systems for medical treatment. In part, this company has the software to decipher doctor’s patient notes and transform them into something that can actually be read and stored on what are basically spreadsheets.
Another amazing feat accomplished by Tempus is the development of a system whereby a patient’s clinical and molecular data could be effectively, and non-cost prohibitively, analyzed. The ability to gather information and to analyze patient’s data on a molecular level allows for the treatment of diseases and disorders on a much more indiviualistic level. The basic term for this is human genome sequencing.
Eric Lefkofsky’s interest in human genome sequencing is based upon personal knowledge in that he experienced the inefficiency of the more traditional manner of collecting and storing data and the difficulty doctor’s had with real-time treatment of illnesses and disease when his wife battled breast cancer. He had a personal interest in determining a efficient and cost-effective way of providing medical treatment.
Mr. Lefkofsky is currently a Professor at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business; a board member of Lurie’s Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company. He has also taught at DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business and at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1991. He earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1993. However, he did not pursue a legal career. Instead, he opted to join the dot-com industry and it seems as if he hasn’t looked back since. The medical profession will be forever changed due to his contributions.
Eric Lefkofsky’s Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/eplefkofsky/