Hajara is a Dean’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Food & Mood Centre. Her research focuses on developing novel functional foods/dietary strategies as an adjunctive therapy for common mental disorders targeting the gut brain-brain axis. Hajara completed her Master’s degree in Food Science & Technology and holds a patent on a novel prebiotic formulae that can maximize the growth of probiotics in vitro. Her PhD project, completed at the Food & Mood Centre, primarily investigated the potential mechanisms by which dairy consumption may influence health, and also assessed the relationship between dairy consumption and health outcomes, which are currently understudied and equivocal. As part of her PhD she was also involved in the Moo’D trial, which is a 16-week randomised controlled trial designed to investigate the impacts of A2 vs conventional dairy products on mood, cognition and gut health.
Hajara is currently leading a pilot clinical trial assessing the feasibility and tolerability of a novel dietary supplement that was developed from banana stem in collaboration with CASS Food Research Centre, Deakin University.
Research areas: Functional foods, Gut microbiota, Gut-brain axis, Fermentation, Nutritional Epidemiology