Professor Felice Jacka

Director of the Food & Mood Centre and Honorary Principal Research Fellow

Felice Jacka is Professor of Nutritional Psychiatry and Director of the Food & Mood Centre at Deakin University. She is also founder and president of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR) and immediate past president of the Australian Alliance for the Prevention of Mental Disorders. She has been responsible for the development of a highly innovative field of research establishing diet and nutrition as of importance to common mental disorders. These include the first studies to document a role for diet in adolescent depression – the primary age of onset for common mental disorders – the first study to identify both maternal and early life nutrition as important predictors of children’s mental health, and the first trial to show that dietary improvement can address depression. The results of the studies she has conducted have been highly influential, and she is widely recognized as international leader in the nascent but transformative field of Nutritional Psychiatry research. Her current research focuses closely on the links between diet, gut health, and mental and brain health. This work is being carried out with the ultimate goal of developing new, evidence-based prevention and treatment strategies for mental disorders. Professor Jacka has published >170 peer-reviewed scientific papers, the majority in high-impact journals in the mental health field including the American Journal of Psychiatry, World Psychiatry, BMC Medicine and Lancet Psychiatry. At 11 years from PhD conferment (2009) she has >6000 citations in Scopus and more than 10,000 in Google Scholar, an H-index of 47 in Scopus (62 Google Scholar) and an average Field Weighted Citation Index of 3.61 (i.e. > 3.5 times world average). Of her publications, 6.4% (11) have been ranked in the top 1% most cited publications worldwide and 27.3% (47) in the top 5% most cited. She is listed in the top ten most highly-cited researchers in mood disorders in Australia. She has secured >AU$6m in Australian and international grants, more than $2.5m in philanthropic and industry funding and approximately AU$3m in awards, prizes and Fellowships.

Professor Jacka published a book for the general public in 2019 called ‘Brain Changer’ through Pan Macmillan Press and Yellow Kite in the UK and EU. Her children’s book – ‘There’s a Zoo in my Poo’ – was published in July 2020.