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Professor Diana Sarfati,
Head of Department, Department of Public Health



Head of Department
Professor, Director; Cancer and Chronic Conditions (C3) research group

Contact details 

Tel 64 4 918 6042
Fax 64 4 389 5319

Research interests and activities 

Professor Diana Sarfati (MBChB, MPH, PhD, FNZCPHM) is a public health physician, cancer epidemiologist and health services researcher. She is Head of the Department of Public Health and the Director of the Cancer and Chronic Conditions (C3) research group at University of Otago, Wellington.

Diana has led a large body of research relating to ethnic disparities in cancer outcomes, particularly those affecting Indigenous peoples. This work has resulted in the identification of key patient and health system factors that influence cancer survival. It has been used extensively by health policy makers, clinicians and other researchers to develop policies and practices that aim to reduce inequities in cancer outcomes.

Her broader research on health services relates to cancer, maternity systems, and services for people with long-term conditions and complex healthcare needs. Her work in screening has included both research and policy elements. She is a former member of the National Screening Advisory Group and the National Bowel Cancer Screening Advisory Committee. She also has research interests in interventions to improve outcomes for those with cancer, type II diabetes and multimorbidity. For more information see C3 research.

Diana is currently a member of the National Cancer Leadership Board (NZ), the Advisory Committee to International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) Pacific cancer hub, IARC’s international expert group on social inequalities in cancer, the Academic Advisory Committee on the International Cancer Benchmarking Project, and she is currently leading a Lancet Oncology series on cancer in small island developing states. Diana’s primary teaching focus is on post-graduate courses in epidemiology.

Diana is a past member of the National Ethics Advisory Committee, the Bowel Cancer Screening Taskforce, the National Bowel Cancer Working Group, the Board of the Cancer Society (Wellington Division), the Cancer Society Medical and Scientific Assessment Committee (Wellington) and the National Cancer Society Health Promotion Committee.