As CEO of Tempus, Eric Lefkofsky, is involved in building a massive database of genomic data and developing tools for physicians to mine the data, as opposed to overseeing scientific operations, which he leaves to the company’s president, a top genetic researcher. By storing advanced genetic profiles of cancer patients, Tempus gives oncologists the software to find profiles similar to their own patients, determine which treatments were successful, and then draw on the data in real-time clinical settings.
While Eric Lefkofsky earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School, he has been a tech entrepreneur since graduation, with a special interest in big data. Lefkofsky, who frequently donates to organizations involved in cancer research, saw that the costs for mapping the human genome have decreased significantly, but physicians were not using the data to personalize medicine because there was no easy way to analyze the information. The cost of storing large amounts of data also had decreased, so Lefkofsky decided to compile the data, create a proprietary algorithm and then provide doctors with the means to utilize the data.
When founding Tempus, Lefkofsky used his Accelerated Disruption method, which states that individuals who have an idea that could change an entire industry should act on it right away. Lefkofsky wrote Accelerated Disruption, published by Easton Studio Press, about his theory in which he offers startup founders’ real world, practical advice. Considering Lefkofsky co-founded five successful tech startups, his advice is valuable. In addition, Lefkofsky teaches students how to create disruptive business models at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and, as an adjunct professor, teaches a course in entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Lefkofsky and his wife created the Lefkofsky Family Foundation to support medical research and other worthy causes, primarily in the Chicago community. Their generous donations include a donation of $1 million to the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University and $1.2 million to the University of Michigan. Besides his numerous gifts for medical research, Lefkofsky enjoys supporting the arts; organizations that have benefited from the Lefkofsky Family Foundation include the Art Institute of Chicago, the Anderson Ranch Arts Center and the Chicago Botanic Garden. Lefkofsky and his wife both signed The Giving Pledge, a non-binding agreement to give half of their net worth to charity during their lifetime and more information click here.