Diana S.M. Buist, PhD, MPH

“My research goal is to gather solid evidence and to use it to improve patient care by increasing benefits and decreasing harms.”

Diana S.M. Buist, PhD, MPH

Group Health Research Institute Senior Investigator


What does optimal outreach, early detection, and preventive care for breast cancer look like? As a key member of two large research consortia focused on improving cancer screening and outcomes, Diana Buist is in a prime position to help answer this important question.

Dr. Buist is an epidemiologist and health services researcher whose work focuses primarily on early detection of breast cancer and reducing illness and death from breast cancer in populations. She is especially interested in translating research findings into clinically meaningful guidelines. Dr. Buist joined Group Health Research Institute (GHRI) in 1996 and within a few years became the Principal Investigator of the Group Health Breast Cancer Surveillance Project, one of seven sites participating in the National Cancer Institute's Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium. She has also played a key role in several collaborative projects conducted by the HMO Cancer Research Network.

Her extensive experience working with these diverse data in longitudinal studies and randomized trials puts Dr. Buist in a unique position to examine cancer screening, care, and outcomes in health systems across the country. Because of her particular expertise in this area, she recently became a member of the Group Health-affiliated Evidence-based Practice Center—one of 11 centers funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in 2012. Her role will include conducting systematic reviews for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

Dr. Buist is an affiliate investigator at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and an affiliate professor in the Departments of Epidemiology and Health Services at the University of Washington School of Public Health. She is also a senior scholar in residence at AcademyHealth. She enjoys sharing her expertise by mentoring junior faculty and PhD and MPH candidates, co-directing the CRN Scholars Program, and teaching courses in clinical outcomes research internationally through the American Thoracic Society.


  • Cancer

    Cancer screening and prevention; outreach and primary care prevention; comparative effectiveness; cost transparency; surveillance; secondary prevention; breast cancer treatment; breast cancer screening; outcomes following cancer diagnosis; cancer survivorship; provider variability in care

  • Preventive Medicine

    Cancer prevention and control; quality of care; preventive care; high-value care; consumer engagement in preventive medicine; systematic reviews

  • Women's Health

    Cancer prevention and control

  • Health Services & Economics


Recent publications

Chubak J, Whitlock EP, Williams SB, Kamineni A, Burda BU, Buist DS, Anderson ML. Aspirin for the prevention of cancer incidence and mortality: systematic evidence reviews for the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force [Internet]. Available from http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/Page/Document/draft-evidence-summary-aspirin-to-prevent-cancer/aspirin-to-prevent-cardiovascular-disease-and-cancer.

Onega T, Goldman LE, Walker RL, Miglioretti DL, Buist DS, Taplin S, Geller BM, Hill DA, Smith-Bindman R. Facility mammography volume in relation to breast cancer screening outcomes. J Med Screen. 2015 Aug 11. pii: 0969141315595254 [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Jackson SL, Abraham L, Miglioretti DL, Buist DS, Kerlikowske K, Onega T, Carney PA, Sickles EA, Elmore JG. Patient and radiologist characteristics associated with accuracy of two types of diagnostic mammograms. AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2015;205(2):456-63. doi: 10.2214/AJR.14.13672. PubMed

Lee JM, Buist DS, Houssami N, Dowling EC, Halpern EF, Gazelle GS, Lehman CD, Henderson LM, Hubbard RA. Five-year risk of interval-invasive second breast cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015 Apr 22;107(7). pii: djv109. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djv109. Print 2015. PubMed

Falk RT, Dallal CM, Lacey JV Jr, Bauer DC, Buist DS, Cauley JA, Hue TF, LaCroix AZ, Tice JA, Pfeiffer RM, Xu X, Veenstra TD, Brinton LA. Estrogen metabolites are not associated with colorectal cancer risk in postmenopausal women. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2015 Jun 23. pii: cebp.0541.2015. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Jacobsen KK, Abraham L, Buist DS, Hubbard RA, O'Meara ES, Sprague BL, Kerlikowske K, Vejborg I, Von Euler-Chelpin M, Njor SH. Comparison of cumulative false-positive risk of screening mammography in the United States and Denmark. Cancer Epidemiol. 2015 May 23. pii: S1877-7821(15)00103-4. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2015.05.004. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Weinmann S, Williams AE, Kamineni A, Buist DS, Masterson EE, Stout NK, Stark A, Ross TR, Owens CL, Field TS, Doubeni CA. Cervical cancer screening and follow-up in 4 geographically diverse US health care systems, 1998 through 2007. Cancer. 2015 May 18. doi: 10.1002/cncr.29445. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Adams KF, Johnson EA, Chubak J, Kamineni A, Doubeni CA, Buist DS, Williams AE, Weinmann S, Doria-Rose VP, Rutter CM. Development of an algorithm to classify colonoscopy indication from coded health care data. EGEMS. (Wash DC). 2015 May 18;3(1):1171. doi: 10.13063/2327-9214.1171. eCollection 2015.

Loggers ET, Gao H, Gold LS, Kessler L, Etzioni R, Buist DS. Predictors of preoperative MRI for breast cancer: differences by data source. J Comp Eff Res. 2015 May 11:1-12. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed

Jacobsen KK, O'Meara ES, Key D, Buist DS, Kerlikowske K, Vejborg I, Sprague BL, Lynge E, von Euler-Chelpin M. Comparing sensitivity and specificity of screening mammography in the United States and Denmark. Int J Cancer. 2015 May 5. doi: 10.1002/ijc.29593. [Epub ahead of print]. PubMed


News release

Computer-aided detection does not improve breast cancer screening

Sept. 28, 2015—CAD raises screening costs without benefit to patients and may miss cancers, large national BCSC study shows

Read it in News and Events.

healthy findings blog

For mammography, radiologists do better without computer help

Based on a new BCSC study, Dr. Diana Buist tells of technology that adds cost to breast cancer screening—without improving outcomes. Dr. Marc Mora comments.

Read it in Healthy Findings.


Computer-aided detection does not improve breast cancer screening

High-tech mammogram tool doesn’t boost cancer detection, study shows

Seattle Times, Sept. 28, 2015

Feature story

Getting to Goldilocks: ‘Just right’ breast screening

For Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Diana Buist tells how Group Health research helps women and their doctors decide if, when, and how to screen.

screening, breast cancer, women's health