Abi has a background in physiology and exercise science, with specific research interest in physical activity for the prevention and treatment of chronic disease, with particular focus on cancer. She currently leads a programme of Cancer Research UK funded work with cancer survivors, including the ASCOT trial of a habit-based lifestyle intervention for breast, prostate and colorectal cancer patients, ‘MASCOT’ in patients with multiple myeloma, and health behaviour change for teenage and young adults cancer survivors. She is one of the senior researchers on the Gemini twin birth cohort, with a particular interest in the genetic and environmental aetiology of physical activity, sedentary time and sleep. Additionally she is involved in a stream of work in collaboration with researchers at the UCL Bartlett, examining how spatial design influences physical activity. Abi is involved in a collaborative programme of research examining the feasibility of using existing exercise services for cancer patients, and a novel programme of work exploring the use of novel technologies (like immersive virtual reality) for physical activity promotion.
Abi obtained a first class BSc (hons) in Physiology in 2002, then a PhD in Developmental Medicine in 2009, both from the University of Glasgow. She joined the UCL Health Behaviour Research Centre in 2009 as a postdoctoral researcher, then senior postdoctoral researcher, and began a lectureship in 2015.
Abi is the Group Leader of the Energy Balance and Cancer Research Group in the Department of Behavioural Science and Health and the Chair of the NCRI Lifestyle and Behaviour Change Clinical Studies Subgroup.