Profile image of Heidi Staudacher

Dr Heidi Staudacher

STAFF PROFILE

Position

Senior Research Fellow

Faculty

Faculty of Health

Department

School of Medicine

Campus

HERB

Qualifications

Doctor of Philosophy, King's College London, 2016

Biography

Dr Heidi Staudacher is an advanced accredited practising dietitian with expertise in the dietary management of individuals with gastrointestinal disorders. She undertook her PhD at King’s College London investigating the role of diet in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and its effect on the microboime. She has published key papers in the field which have influenced several clinical guidelines internationally.

At the Food & Mood Centre Heidi's research program aims to improve our  understanding of the role of diet for reducing symptoms in people with disorders of gut-brain interaction (DGBI) like IBS, as well as common mental disorders such as depression, and when these conditions overlap. Her research also investigates the nature and relevance of diet-induced microbiome shifts and other important mechanisms through which diet influences the brain and the gut, with the ultimate aim of developing better treatments. 

 

Selected grants 2010-current:

2022 Rome Foundation Disorders of Gut-Brain Interaction International Research Award  ($57112)

2022 NHMRC Emerging Leadership Investigator Grant $655,150

2019 Career Continuity for Researchers who are Primary Carers $26,227

2018 Alfred Deakin Postoctoral Fellowship $182,589

2013 NIHR Clinical Doctoral Fellowship equiv $526,000

Read more on Heidi's profile

Affiliations

Accredited Practising Dietitian 
Registered Nutritionist 
Rome V Treatment Trials Chapter Committee 

Knowledge areas

Dietary management of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Diet and the microbiome

Dietary interventions for gastrointestinal and common mental disorders

Clinical trial methodology

Dietary assessment

Nocebo and placebo responses in IBS

Awards

Selected awards:

2021: Research Australia Griffith Discovery Highly Commended Award

2016: Nutrition Society International Postgraduate Competition Finalist (Dublin)

Projects

Heidi leads and is involved in collaborative projects with nutrition, psychology and gastroenterology research groups across Australia, the UK and Ireland, and the US.

The current research she leads at Deakin includes:

TANDIM trial: Randomised controlled trial of diet intervention in people with IBS and anxiety and/or depressive symtoms

Food, Mood and Microbes: Program of research aiming to address gaps relating to 1) scalable and cost-effective dietary intervention for people with depression via the BeNEFIT trial, 2) mechanisms underlying the antidepressant effects of the Mediterranean diet, 3) understanding the level of translation of evidence for diet improving symptoms of depression in practice.

Nocebo responses in IBS: Challenge trial investigating nocebo responses to dietary components in people with IBS.

Publications

No publications found

Funded Projects at Deakin

Australian Competitive Grants

Food, mood and microbes: Improving mental health through diet.

Dr Heidi Staudacher

NHMRC - Investigator Grant

  • 2024: $57,189
  • 2023: $133,257

CoDeEndo: Co-Designing, Evaluating, and Implementing Supportive Care for Endometriosis

Prof Antonina Mikocka-Walus, A/Prof Subhadra Evans, Prof Trish Livingston, Prof Liliana Orellana, Dr Nikki McCaffrey, Dr David Skvarc, Prof Alison Hutchinson, Prof Felice Jacka, Prof Jason Abbott, Dr Mike Armour, Ms Katherine Stanley, Dr Heidi Staudacher

MRFF (NHMRC) Clinical Trials Activity Grant

  • 2024: $322,580
  • 2023: $909,698

Industry and Other Funding

The development of the BUB (Bugs, Unborns and Bugs) mHealth program

Prof Felice Jacka, Prof Adrienne O'Neil, Dr Heidi Staudacher

Waterloo Foundation - Child Development

  • 2021: $68,174
  • 2020: $66,470

Nocebo response to fermentable carbohydrate dietary challenge: A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled crossover challenge trial

Dr Heidi Staudacher, Prof Felice Jacka, Prof Antonina Mikocka-Walus

Rome Foundation Disorders of Gut-Brain Interaction International Research Award

  • 2022: $58,377

CoDeEndo: Co-Designing, Evaluating, and Implementing Supportive Care for Endometriosis

Prof Antonina Mikocka-Walus, A/Prof Subhadra Evans, Prof Trish Livingston, Prof Liliana Orellana, Dr Nikki McCaffrey, Dr David Skvarc, Prof Alison Hutchinson, Prof Felice Jacka, Prof Jason Abbott, Dr Mike Armour, Ms Katherine Stanley, Dr Heidi Staudacher

Western Alliance

  • 2023: $20,000

Supervisions

Associate Supervisor
2024

Madeline West

Thesis entitled: Gastrointestinal Disturbances and Eating Disorders: Treatment and Lived Experience

Doctor of Philosophy (Medicine), School of Medicine

2022

Meghan Hockey

Thesis entitled: The Association Between Dairy Intake and Depression

Doctor of Philosophy (Medicine), School of Medicine

2021

Claire Young

Thesis entitled: A Digital Dietary Intervention for Depression: Development, Optimisation and Feasibility

Doctor of Philosophy (Medicine), School of Medicine