October 16, 2015 18:00 ET

Eric Lefkofsky -- Entrepreneur and Wife Liz Donate $1.2 Million to University of Michigan for Medical Research

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - October 16, 2015) - Eric Lefkofsky, CEO and Co-founder of Groupon, and his wife Liz have pledged $1.2 million to the University of Michigan Health System to further the development of cancer and heart disease research. The donation comes in the form of a grant supplied for academics as part of The Lefkofsky Scholar Initiative, funded by the Lefkofsky Family Foundation. It aims to provide brand new and unique opportunities to students whose research into curing cancer is considered particularly distinctive or unconventional.

Liz and Eric Lefkofsky are proud to be a part of these accelerating medical developments. Successful studies from the initiative that demonstrate outstanding progress in the elimination of cancer will lead to wider and more nationally-funded research in the future. Grants will be awarded through the Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Innovation Awards to six students, who will then be recognized as Liz and Eric Lefkofsky Scholars. The first round of awards was given out this year, and the researchers have until next year to report on progress made over the next six months. In April, The Lefkofsky Committee will increase the duration of the research projects if they can show to have exceptional promise in the future. The students will each receive $75,000 over a two- to three-year period to allow maximum time and energy into thought-provoking and innovative research that is needed to further eliminate the disease. This year, one particular focus was on the development of an inexpensive blood test to help recognize the early stages of pancreatic cancer, where the intention is for it to be made available in routine clinical care.

Liz and Eric Lefkofsky are both trustees and members of several committees that contribute to health, education, arts and human rights, including The Art Institute of Chicago, Lurie Children's Hospital, University of Chicago Urban Education Institute and World Business Chicago. Since its establishment in 2006, the Lefkofsky Family Foundation has helped hundreds of different organizations around the world. In 2013, Liz and Eric Lefkofsky became members of The Giving Pledge, promising to donate at least half of their wealth over their lifetimes for these causes.

About Lefkofsky Family Foundation

The Lefkofsky Family Foundation is a private charitable foundation that was established in 2006 by Liz and Eric Lefkofsky. The purpose of the Lefkofsky Family Foundation is to advance high-impact programs, initiatives and research that enhance the quality of human life in the communities we serve. To achieve this mission, the Foundation strives to: ensure access to quality education; improve fundamental human rights; propel innovative medical research; and expand cultural initiatives. For more information on the Lefkofsky Family Foundation, visit:

About Eric Lefkofsky

Eric Lefkofsky is CEO and Co-founder of Groupon. He is also a Co-founder of Lightbank, InnerWorkings, Echo Global Logistics, Mediaocean, and Uptake. Eric Lefkofsky is a Trustee of Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago, Steppenwolf Theater, The Museum of Science and Industry and World Business Chicago. He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago. Eric Lefkofsky graduated from the University of Michigan and received his Juris Doctor at University of Michigan Law School. For more information on Eric Lefkofsky, visit:

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