Fiona Moola

Noted Speaker
Photo: Fiona J. Moola

Dr. Fiona Moola is a Scientist at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto. Currently, Dr. Moola is spearheading a world-class research program on the psychosocial benefits of the arts in the lives of children with chronic illnesses and disabilities.

Dr. Moola was born in Toronto and is the daughter of anti-apartheid freedom fighters from South Africa. Dr. Moola completed High Honours Undergraduate, Masters, and Doctoral Degrees at the University of Toronto. Funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, during her Doctoral Degree, Dr. Moola studied the psychological and social dimensions of childhood chronic illnesses among children with cystic fibrosis and congenital heart disease at the Hospital for Sick Children, as well as their caregivers. After completing her Doctoral Degree in 2011, Dr. Moola embarked on a one year Post Doctoral Fellowship at Concordia University in Montreal, where she studied the sociological dimensions of obesity in Canada. In 2012, Dr. Moola began a five-year term as an Assistant Professor (tenure-track) at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. Here, she was also a Scientist at the Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba. During her time in Winnipeg, Dr. Moola continued to develop a robust research program on the psychological and social dimensions of childhood chronic illnesses, grounded in health psychology and sociological studies. She has advanced a large body of research on the role of physical activity in the lives of those with chronic illnesses and disabilities.

As a Scientist at Holland-Bloorview, Dr. Moola’s research program is driven by the notion that the arts may enhance the quality of life and psychosocial health of children living with chronic illnesses and disabilities. Through her research program — which includes the Holland Bloorview Art Bank, the Music Tree House, as well as Yoga City, to name a few — Dr. Moola will investigate the therapeutic potential of the arts for children with disabilities and chronic illnesses and their caregivers. She aims to enrich the Holland-Bloorview community with the arts, to establish an internationally renowned research program on disability and the arts, and, more importantly, to enhance the quality of life of children with disabilities at Bloorview and beyond through arts engagement.

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, VERTEX, Research Manitoba, the Canadian Institute for Health Research, The University of Manitoba, the Health Sciences Foundation, as well as the Children's Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba fund Dr. Moola's research. Dr. Moola is the first author of over 25 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, has graduated two masters’ students, and serves on several graduate thesis committees. She has also established a robust program of teaching at the Undergraduate and Graduate level.

On a part-time basis, Dr. Moola is also a psychotherapy student at the Gestalt Institute of Toronto. Dr. Moola loves yoga, dance, running, and reading.