• Building: Giltner
  • Office: 138
  • Phone: (517) 355-5253

Cheryl Sisk vita

University Distinguished Professor

PhD, Psychobiology/Neuroscience, Florida State University, 1980
MA, Psychobiology/Neuroscience, Florida State University, 1976
BS, Psychology, Baylor University, 1974

Research Statement

Research in the Sisk Lab is directed toward understanding the neural, endocrine, and behavioral changes that take place during puberty and adolescence. Adult cognition, social behaviors, responses to sensory stimuli, and responses to environmental stressors are remarkably different from those of the juvenile organism. Thus, the juvenile-to-adult transition is a fundamental period of neural development. Some recent work in the Sisk lab has focused on structural changes in the hamster amygdala during adolescence, and how this may be relevant for changes in the processing of sensory stimuli and their effects on behavior. Other projects focus on the role of steroid hormones in the neurogenesis and gliogenesis that occurs during adolescent brain development. This work has direct implications for human adolescent development and human mental health because a number of sex-biased psychopathologies (e.g., eating disorders, depression, and schizophrenia) emerge during adolescence. Furthermore, the influence of steroids on developmental processes in the human adolescent nervous system is altered or perturbed by a variety of circumstances, including the delay of gonadal development brought about by eating disorders, extreme exercise, or disease, the abuse of anabolic androgenic steroids, and exposure to environmental endocrine disruptors. The Sisk lab hopes to establish the temporal and developmental parameters within which steroid hormones impact nervous system during puberty in order to fully define and understand periods of vulnerability for the development of behavioral pathologies.

Related Programs

Related Links

Selected Publications

  • Klump, K.L., Keel, P.K., Sisk, C.L., & Burt, S.A.
    Preliminary evidence that estradiol moderates genetic effects on disordered eating attitudes and behaviors during puberty
    2010, Psychological Medicine, 40:1745-1754
  • Salas-Ramirez, K.Y., Montalto, P.R., and Sisk, C.L.
    Anabolic androgenic steroids differentially affect social behaviors in adolescent and adult male Syrian hamsters
    2008, Hormones and Behavior, 53:378-85
  • Bucci, D.J., Hopkins, M.E., Nunez, A.A., Breedlove, S.M., Sisk, C.L, and Nigg, J.T.
    Effects of sex hormones on associative learning in the spontaneously hypertensive rat
    2008, Physiology and Behavior, 93:651-57
  • Zehr, J.L, Nichols, L.R., Schulz, K.M., and Sisk, C.L.
    Adolescent development of neuron structure in dentate gyrus granule cells
    2008, Developmental Neurobiology, 68:1517-36
  • Ahmed, E.I., Zehr, J.L., Schulz, K.M., Lorenz, B.H., DonCarlos, L.L., and Sisk, C.L.
    Pubertal hormones modulate the addition of new cells to sexually dimorphic brain regions
    2008, Nature Neuroscience, 11:995-97
  • Sato, S.M., Schulz, K.M., Sisk C.L. and Wood, R.I.
    Adolescents and androgens, receptors and rewards
    2008, Hormones and Behavior (Special Issue on Androgens in health and disease: New insights into roles and mechanisms of action), 53:647-58
  • more publications