Researcher biography

Dr Abbey Diaz is a Faculty of Medicine Research Fellow and epidemiologist in the FNCWR team. Her program of work is broadly concerned with the quality and equity of cancer care pathways, particularly for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and for people with, or at risk of, other chronic disease.

Recently, Abbey was part of an investigator team (CID; 2021-2024) awarded a $1 million National Heart Foundation Strategic Grant in Cardio-oncology. Through its work, the team aims to:

  • Better understand the risk of adverse cardiovascular events in Australians diagnosed with cancer
  • Identify potential high-risk groups and health service gaps
  • Understand how cancer treatment decision-making by patients and their health professionals are influenced by their cardiovascular risk.
  • Co-design and assess educational resources for patients and health professionals to improve care and outcomes for cancer patients at risk of adverse cardiovascular outcomes.

Abbey is also an investigator on an ARC-funded grant to develop a measure supportive care needs of carers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer (CIJ), a World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) funded grant to pilot an intervention to support cancer patients to reduce exposure to behavioural risk factors (CID), and an MRFF grant to co-design and feasibility test a phase III exercise trial for women with metastatic breast cancer (AI). She led the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Better Cardiac Care Linkage Study, commissioned by the Queensland Health department, and was an investigator on a Cancer Australia and Department of Health tender to better understand how information on Indigenous status is collected, recorded, reported at all stages of the National Cervical Screening Program.

Abbey's PhD thesis investigated whether the higher comorbidity among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer was associated with lower cancer survival and supportive care needs. Her thesis was undertaken and completed while she was part of the National Indigenous Cervical Screening Project, with her PhD (Charles Darwin University/Menzies School of Health research) awarded in 2018.