Eric Lefkofsky is the co-founder and CEO of Tempus, a Chicago-based technology whose aim is to use big data analytics in order to enable physicians to deliver personalized treatment. The ultimate goal is to personalize care for optimal cancer therapy and treatment. Tempus has recently announced yet another collaboration, this time with the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC).
The initial research project between the two collaborators will entail Tempus’ Tempus O platform as means to ingest and organize clinical data from the health records of the cancer center. Furthermore, Tempus will perform next generation sequencing and analysis for certain patients to identify relevant gene alterations or mutations. Tempus’ contribution in the collaboration is pivotal – datasets in healthcare, and in oncology in particular, are small and often disorganized. Tempus developed a series of data pipelines that collect, cleanse and analyze data, at scale. Several clinical and research applications depend on these data pipelines to drive clinical decision support and cutting-edge academic research.
“The ability to synthesize and make sense of clinical and molecular data is key to personalized medicine efforts,” said Lefkofsky. “We are pleased to bring our state-of the-art solution to the team at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center and other top academic centers, hospital systems, associations, and health care providers across the country. The Tempus platform will unlock critical data at scale, accelerating discovery and ultimately improving patient care.” Tempus collaborates with the nation’s leading physicians, researchers, cancer centers and hospital administrators to collect, organize and standardize vast quantities of clinical data. The company applies its unique optical character recognition and natural language processing algorithms to identify key factors in the patient’s treatment history. These findings are then validated by a team of qualified healthcare professionals who curate the data before deploying its insights to benefit providers and patients.
According to Jennifer Pietenpol, Ph.D., Executive Vice President for Research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and director of VICC, “Empowering Vanderbilt-Ingram researchers and physicians with data, tools and evidence to help inform care and accelerate discoveries that benefit patients is a top priority.” She adds that the collaboration with Tempus will enable, “the Vanderbilt-Ingram team to gain a deeper understanding of a patient’s cancer and its genetic and molecular drivers, with a goal of improving patient outcomes.”
Tempus is one of several ventures Lefkofsky has founded. He is a co-founder of Groupon, a global e-commerce marketplace platform, Echo Global Logistics, a technology-enabled transportation and logistics outsourcing firm, InnerWorkings, a global provider of managed print and promotional solutions, Lightbank, a venture fund focusing on disruptive technologies, Uptake Technologies, an analytics platform and Mediaocean, a media procurement technologies provider. Each business model is similar in that it focuses on bringing technology to industries that did not have access traditionally.
Lefkofsky authored Accelerated Disruption: Understanding the True Speed of Innovation. He has also held teaching positions at the Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at DePaul University as well as at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.
Lefkofsky is an avid philanthropist. Together with his wife, he founded the Lefkofsky Family Foundation in 2006. Its primary aim is the advancement of high-impact initiatives in education, fundamental human rights, medicine, art and culture that enhance lives in the communities that are served. The two are also members of The Giving Pledge. Lefkofsky is on the board of trustees of the Lurie’s Children’s Hospital of Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Science and Industry and World Business Chicago. He is also the Chairman of the Chicago-based Board of Trustees of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company.
Founded in 2015, Tempus has been voted as one of Chicago’s top ten health-tech startups. Its aim is to use big data analytics in order to facilitate cancer treatment by taking advantage of the recent human genome sequencing, science and technology advances. With Tempus O, Tempus is hoping to extract patient information out of the disorganized and disconnected records and structure, cleanse and annotated the clinical data for easier access and comprehension. The technology is one segment of Tempus’ service repertoire that also encompasses complete DNA and RNA sequencing at its CAP/CLIA-certified laboratory facilities.
For more information on Tempus, please visit tempus.com, Facebook: @TempusLabs and Twitter: @TempusLabs. For more information on Eric Lefkofsky, please visit lefkofsky.com, LinkedIn: ericlefkofsky, Twitter: @lefkofsky or Facebook: @eplefkofsky.
About the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
Dedicated to an integrated and patient-focused approach to cancer research, treatment, support, prevention, education and outreach, VICC offers adult and pediatric oncology treatment. It conducts basic, translational and clinical research. It is one of the nation’s 49 and Tennessee’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center. Along with 27 other leading centers, it is a member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network that aims to improve the quality and effectiveness of cancer care. For more information, please visit VICC’s website.