10335-Sajdyk, Tammy

Tammy J. Sajdyk, MS, PhD

Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics

410 W 10th St Room 1020G
Indianapolis, IN
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I am an Associate Research Professor of Pediatrics in the division of Hematology/Oncology. In June 1997 I received my PhD in Neurobiology from the department of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine at Indiana University. The first part of my career was focused in the area of neuroplasticity and emotional memory, particularly with regards to stress and anxiety. In 2016, I joined the department of Pediatrics and refocused my career on the plasticity of the peripheral nervous system and how it recovers following exposure to chemotherapeutic agents, especially vincristine.


Key Publications


  • Sajdyk, T.J., Sors, T.G., Hunt, J.D., Murray, M.E., Deford, M.E., Shekhar, A., and Denne, S.C. (2015). “Project Development Teams: A novel mechanism for accelerating translational research.” J Acad Med 90(1):40-46.

  • Denne SC, Sajdyk TJ, Sorkness CA, Drezner MK, and Shekhar A. Utilizing pilot funding and other incentives to stimulate interdisciplinary research.  In Translational Medicine-What, Why, and How: An International Perspective.  Editors: Barbara Alving, Kerong Dai and Samuel Chan. (Rutledge, 2013).

  • Johnson, P.L., Sajdyk, T.J., Fitz, S.D., Hale, M.W., Lowry, C.A., Hay-Schmidt, A., and Shekhar, A. (2013). “Angiotensin II’s role in sodium lactate-induced panic-like responses in rats with repeated urocortin 1 injections into the basolateral amygdala: amygdalar angiotensin receptors and panic.” Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 44:248-256.

  • Molosh, A.L., Sajdyk, T.J., Truitt, W.A., Zhu, W., Oxford, G.S. and Shekhar, A. (2013). “NPY Y1 receptors differentially modulate GABAA and NMDA receptors via divergent signal-transduction pathways to reduce excitability of amygdala neurons.” Neuropsychopharmacology 38(7):1352-1364.

  • Leitermann, R.J., Sajdyk, T.J., and Urban, J.H. (2012). “ Cell-specific expression of calcineurin immunoreactivity within the rat basolateral amygdala complex and colocalization with the neuropeptide Y Y1 receptor.” J Chem Neuroanat 45(1-2):50-56.

  • Ray, B., Gaskins, D.L., Sajdyk, T.J., Spence, J.P., Fitz, S.D., Shekhar, A., Lahiri, D.K. (2011). “Restraint stress and repeated CRF receptor activation in the amygdala both increase amyloid β precursor protein (APP) and amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide but have divergent effects on BDNF and pre-synaptic proteins in the prefrontal cortex of rats.” Neuroscience 184:139-150.

  • Sajdyk, T.J., Johnson, P.L., Leitermann, R.J., Fitz, S.D., Dietrich, A., Morin, M., Gehlert, D.R., Urban, J.H., and Shekhar, A. (2008). “Neuropeptide Y (NPY)-mediated behavioral plasticity in the amygdala induces stress resilience.” J. Neurosci.  28:893-903.

  • Sajdyk, T.J., Johnson, P.L., Fitz, S.D., and Shekhar, A. (2008) “Chronic inhibition of GABA synthesis in the Bed Nucleus of the Stria Terminalis elicits anxiety-like behavior.” J. Psychopharm.  22(6):633-641.

  • Chambers, R.A., Sajdyk, T.J., Conroy, S.K., LaFuze, J. E., Fitz, S.D., and Shekhar, A. (2007). “Neonatal Amygdala Lesions: Co-occurring Impact on Social/Fear-related Behavior and Cocaine Sensitization in Adult Rats.” Behav. Neurosci. 121(6): 1316 – 1327.

  • Truitt, W.A., Sajdyk, T.J., Dietrich, A.D., Oberlin, B., McDougle, C.J., and Shekhar, A. (2007) “From anxiety to autism: spectrum of abnormal social behaviors modeled by progressive disruption of inhibitory neuronal function in the basolateral amygdala in Wistar rats.” Psychopharmacol. 19(1):107-118.


Titles & Appointments

  • Associate Professor of Clinical Pediatrics
  • Education
    2012 MS Indiana University
    2000 FEL Neuroscience Postdoctoral Fellowship, Eli Lilly and Company
    1997 PhD Indiana University
    1988 BA Indiana University
  • Research

    Peripheral Neuropathy affects approximately 78% of children receiving vincristine as part of their chemotherapy treatment. To date there are no strategies to either prevent or treat neuropathy in this population. Studies examining survivors of pediatric cancer have found that they develop health issues at a higher rate than the average population and many have multiple severe illnesses as adults. The goal of our lab is to find interventions that can be personalized and implemented while the children are undergoing treatment. Our hope is to minimize or eliminate the neuropathy. My area of expertise is neuroplasticity and I joined the department of Pediatrics in 2016. In addition to developing novel interventions for neuropathy, my goal is also to elucidate the mechanisms underlying this process. Understanding the plasticity of these peripheral nerves will allow us to identify biomarkers which will then lead to a personalized approach for treating children with vincristine. I am currently Co-I or mentor on several NIH-funded grants.

  • Professional Organizations
    Society for Clinical and Translational Research
  • Clinical Interests


    My primary research focus is on the mechanisms which underlie the development of peripheral neuropathy in children treated with the chemotherapeutic agent vincristine.


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