A native of Bengal, India, Professor Hajra received his B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees from the University of Calcutta in 1953 and 1956, respectively, and his Ph.D. degree from Northwestern University in 1963. He joined the University of Michigan faculty in 1960 as a research assistant in the Mental Health Research Institute (later the Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute), where he was mentored by eminent biochemists Norman Radin and Bernard Agranoff. He was promoted to assistant research biochemist in 1963, associate research scientist in 1968, research scientist in 1982, senior research scientist in 1997, and research professor in 2003. Within the Department of Biological Chemistry, Professor Hajra was appointed assistant professor in 1969, promoted to associate professor in 1974, and to professor in 1981. He retired from active faculty status in 2007.
As a member of a research institute dedicated to the brain sciences, Professor Hajra's scholarly contributions reflect significantly on the mission of the Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute. Through his extensive biochemical and chemical knowledge and imaginative approach to science, he has contributed substantively to our knowledge of the function of brain lipids. He has amassed an extensive bibliography of scientific publications in prestigious, peer-reviewed journals. Throughout his distinguished career, Professor Hajra has been the recipient of numerous honors, including the coveted Javits Award of the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke in 1988. His expertise has been further recognized by his service on NIH study sections and on the editorial boards of prestigious biochemical journals.