“The greatest need we have today in the human cancer problem, except for a universal cure, is a method for detecting cancer before there are any clinical signs or symptoms.”
Sidney Farber, M.D.
Father of modern chemotherapy
pioneering the detection of early cancer
Harbinger Health is pioneering the detection of early cancer and enabling foundationally new approaches to cancer screening, diagnosis and management. Incubated within Flagship Pioneering for three years before launching in 2021, Harbinger combines advances in artificial intelligence with proprietary insights into the biology of the beginnings of cancer to identify cancer before it is visible or symptomatic with the aim of developing a low-cost, multi-cancer blood test.
A harbinger is a “forerunner, that which precedes and gives notice of the coming of another.” We not only are working to identify the harbinger – the biological programs present in the earliest forms of cancer – but seek to be the harbinger, to be the forerunner which will usher in the future of healthcare.
At Harbinger, we intend to lead in shaping this future – creating a proactive paradigm so that people can live cancer-free for longer, adding years to life and life to years. We envision a future where, instead of keeping cancer from spreading, it could be kept from forming, making a cancer diagnosis a routine health problem to be addressed rather than a life-altering event to be feared with profound implications for people, healthcare systems and societies.
Our answer to the problem of late cancer detection and unacceptable patient prognoses starts with our proprietary solutions for the future of cancer pre-emption. Beginning with blood-based tests, we will enable cancer detection before it is visible. By identifying biological programs rooted in cancer's origins, we can enable identification of early stage and pre-disease. Through this new pathway for cancer diagnosis and early therapeutic interventions, Harbinger Health has the potential to fundamentally change cancer care, for everyone.
Kieran Chacko, Ph.D.
Kieran Chacko, Ph.D. serves as Head of Strategy for Harbinger Health and is a Principal at Flagship Pioneering, where he works as part of a team of entrepreneurial scientists to conceive, create, resource, and develop first-in-category ventures. Kieran joined Flagship after completing the firm’s Flagship Pioneering Fellowship.
Kieran earned a doctorate at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai under the guidance of Professor Harm van Bakel. His research focused on uncovering the mechanisms responsible for emerging antibiotic resistance and heteroresistance in patients during treatment. Leveraging genomic surveillance data and electronic healthcare records, Kieran developed bioinformatic approaches to reveal novel antibiotic resistance mechanisms and pathogen outbreaks within the hospital. Furthermore, Kieran developed applications for real-time monitoring of antibiotic resistance and consumption trends across the hospital system that are currently in use. He is the recipient of multiple awards from the American Society of Microbiology, Infectious Disease Society of America, and Mount Sinai Hospital for his research.
During his graduate studies, Kieran was part of a team that developed a microfluidics technology with the mission to eradicate neglected tropical diseases through highly sensitive, low-cost diagnostics. The team was awarded the QED Innovation Award by the Mount Sinai Hospital.
Prior to graduate school, Kieran was an analyst in the Corporate and Investment Bank at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co in New York City. He worked on teams across the markets and securities business serving the firm’s large corporate financial institution and emerging market clients. He earned a B.A. in Economics and a B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Rochester.
our leadership team
our board of directors
Director, Social & Behavioral Sciences, Community Engagement
Operation Warp Speed
Professor, Department of Gastrointestical Medical Oncology
Chair Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics
Chief Quality Officer
Board member, Kaiser Foundation