Dr. Sharareh Hekmat

Dr. Sharareh Hekmat

Job Title:

 Professor, School of Food and Nutritional Sciences


 Full-Time Faculty




 519.432.8353 x28227


 Academic Pavilion 2009 B

Academic Background

  • Ph.D. (Nutrition and Food Sciences), Utah State University
  • M.Sc. (Nutrition and Food Sciences), Utah State University
  • B.Sc. (Biology) Utah State University

Research and Scholarly Interests

For the past 27 years, I have been developing dairy products containing probiotics, living bacteria that can be beneficial to human health by helping to treat and prevent infections.

In collaboration with scientists at the Canadian Research and Development Centre for Probiotics at Lawson Health Research Institute, we have developed a probiotic yogurt containing microorganisms effective in treating and preventing urogenital infections in women.

I have trained more than sixty interns for Western Heads East Project (http://www.westernheadseast.ca) which have helped to create a sustainable mini-dairy plant in an outlying community of Mwanza, Tanzania. The interns have educated the community about the health benefits and preparation of probiotic yogurt. This project has been recently expanded to Kenya in Africa.

Our probiotic yogurt has the potential to act as a natural remedy that could lessen the severity of diseases and diarrheal symptoms in the region by interrupting infection cycles and killing harmful bacteria and viruses.

Dr. Hekmat’s research with probiotic yoghurt is featured in Living Research – 2010, Volume 1.


  • Food and Nutrition 9222A/B – Research Methodology and Statistics
  • Dean’s Honor Roll of Teaching, 2000–2009, Brescia University College
  • Food and Nutrition 2132A/B – Introduction to Foods
  • Food and Nutrition 2232 – Principle of Food Sciences
  • Food and Nutrition 3342A/B – Advanced Food Sciences
  • Food and Nutrition 4452A/B – Experimental Foods
  • Human Ecology 4402A/B – Supervised Research
  • Brescia University College Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2006

Representative Publications and Presentations

  • El Hassan, D. and Hekmat, S. 2012. Dietary acculturation of Arab immigrants in the Greater Toronto Area. J. Diet Prac Res. 73(3):2–5.
  • Hemsworth, J., S. Hekmat, and G. Reid. 2012. Micronutrient supplemented probiotic yogurt for HIV-infected adults taking HAART in London, Canada. J. Gut Microbes. 3(5):1–6.
  • Whaling, M.A., I. Luginaah, G. Reid, S. Hekmat, et.al. 2012. Perceptions about probiotic yogurt for health and nutrition in the context of HIV/AIDS in Mwanza, Tanzania. J. Health Population Nutrition. 30(1): 31–40.
  • Cimo, A., S. Hekmat, and E. Lui. 2012. Manufacturing probiotic yogurt fortified with ginseng and examining effects on vascular health. Cultivating Natural Bioactives for Health and Disease Conference. (First Prize on Poster Competition).
  • Ayres, J., J. Theurer, S. Hekmat, et.al. 2012. Assessment of Dysphagia knowledge and confidence in skills among undergraduate nutrition students in London, Ontario. CASLPA conference.
  • Hekmat, S.et.al. 2012. Measuring the survival rate of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 in Ginseng fortified milk. CIFST conference presentation.
  • Morgan, K. and S. Hekmat. 2012. Sensory evaluation of Locally grown fruit purees and inulin fiber on probiotic yogurt in Mwanza, Tanzania and the Microbial Analysis of M. oleifera fortified probiotic yogurt. J. Food and Nutritional Sciences (In Preparation).
  • Irvine, S., R. Hummelen, and S. Hekmat. 2011. Probiotic yogurt consumption may improve gastrointestinal symptoms, productivity and nutritional intake of people living with human immunodeficiency virus in Mwanza, Tanzania. J. Nut. Res. 31: 875–881.

Teaching Philosophy

My philosophy of teaching is to create interest in the classroom and to involve students with the subject matter. I incorporate a variety of teaching methods in my classes such as lectures, individual and/or group presentations, independent projects, class discussion and related audio-visual presentations.

I teach various undergraduate and graduate courses in Food and Nutritional Sciences. These courses include laboratory components in which students find the opportunity to apply what they have learned in the class and to perform hands-on experiments. This hand-on approach would help students to better understand difficult theoretical or scientific principles.

Other Noteworthy Achievements

2011 Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry’s Dean’s Award of Excellence – Team Award


2011 Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry’s
Dean’s Award of Excellence – Team Award


On May 22, 2009, Dr. Hekmat made an impression on Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Dr. Hekmat and Archbishop Tutu