Practice Lead, Chemical and Product Safety
Joined RSI in 2019
- Expert in semi-Bayesian models and quantitative bias modelling
- Professor at the University of Ottawa
- Served on the Ottawa Hospital Research Ethics Board
- Served as interim chair of the CHEO Research Ethics Board
My love of epidemiology, statistical methods, and the risk sciences developed in a, perhaps, second phase of my life. I began my research career in the animal sciences, where my interest in successful human aging was sparked by a fascinating book written by Caleb Finch (Longevity, Senescence, and the Genome), and this interest led to involvement in studies of Alzheimer’s Disease – some of my early research involved behavioural and cognitive testing of an early transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer’s. This is work I conducted while a graduate student at McGill University and at the Douglas Hospital Research Institute. My career, however, has been as an epidemiologist and biostatistician. I trained and worked with several research groups that studied cancer etiology. Much of my academic life has been spent on (as I once heard described) “smuggling statistical methods” into epidemiology, including ideas around semi-Bayesian models and quantitative bias modelling, all in an effort to provide better and more robust answers to our research questions.
As a professor at the University of Ottawa, I taught and mentored many graduate students. I was one of the principal scientists for Canada in the multinational MOBI-Kids study of brain tumours and youth, addressing a worldwide concern with non-ionizing radiation from cell phone use.
I spent a decade working at the research institutes of The Ottawa Hospital and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), collaborating on multiple research teams and addressing diverse clinical questions. My work covered the breadth of adult and child health, including diagnostic and screening studies, randomized trials of novel interventions, systematic and scoping reviews for knowledge synthesis, knowledge gathering via survey design, and explanatory research with secondary use of health data. During this time I also served as a member of the Ottawa Hospital Research Ethics Board, a member and interim chair of the CHEO Research Ethics Board, and a member of CHEO’s Policy Ethics Board.
Franco Momoli: Current Focus
Dr. Momoli is the Practice Lead for Chemical and Product Safety at Risk Sciences International, as well as an adjunct professor in the School of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Ottawa. Franco leads a team of risk assessors, epidemiologists, statisticians, and toxicologists, conducting human health risk assessments on environmental contaminants and consumer products. He continues to work on a variety of epidemiologic studies that inform current clinical practice in childhood and adult medicine.
He has recently focussed on:
- Working with Health Canada on the health effects of fluoride in drinking water, as well as the determination of safe levels of arsenic in drinking water and via inhalation,
- Working with the Partnership Against Cancer on digital innovations for provincial and territorial cancer registries, including applications of artificial intelligence,
- Working with Health Canada on a new public health approach to chemicals management
Working with the International Manganese Institute on biomarkers of manganese exposure
- Working with the European Food Safety Authority on a framework for problem formulation, for incorporation into updated risk assessment guidelines
Works and Accomplishments
While with RSI as a practice lead, Dr. Momoli has led projects for various international organizations and agencies on diverse topics, such as a new public health approach for chemicals management, international prioritization strategies during an influenza pandemic, use of hazard assessment from consumer products in the workplace, screening of indoor semi-volatile organic compounds, prioritization of air pollutants, and hazard assessments for aluminium and aluminium nanoproducts, arsenic, and fluoride.
Dr. Momoli’s published work has involved statistical methods for addressing multiple exposures (Momoli et al., 2010) and bias modelling approaches (Momoli et al., 2017) and bias quantification (Turner et al., 2019). He has collaborated on a wide swath of clinical research topics, including determination of death in children following withdrawal of life support (Dhanani et al., 2014); aboriginal child health (Young et al., 2018; Young et al., 2023); depression in the military (Theriault et al., 2019); sleep disordered breathing in children (Blinder et al., 2020; Tsampalieros et al., 2019); tuberculosis in Nunavut (Alvarez et al., 2014; Kilabuk et al., 2020); delirium in palliative care settings (Webber et al., 2023; Watt et al., 2019; Lawlor et al., 2014); stroke and free floating thrombus prediction (Dowlatshahi et al., 2014); antifibrinolytic use to reduce the need for blood transfusions during cystectomies for bladder cancer (Punjani et al., 2013; Breau et al., 2018); phenome wide association study on B vitamins (Wang et al., 2023); and early approaches to recovery in youth with concussions (Grool et al., 2016; Bresee et al., 2018; Gravel et al., 2018).