Alexis Lighten Wesley, M.D., BA

Perinatal and Child Psychiatrist

Alexis Lighten Wesley, M.D., BA, is a perinatal and child psychiatrist who joined the Developing Brain Institute in August 2021. Dr. Wesley’s area of expertise is in counseling women about mental health treatment options surrounding pregnancy. During the course of her training, she spearheaded an initiative to identify and treat women who were at high risk for postpartum depression during their newborn’s physical appointment in an underserved pediatric setting. Dr. Wesley focuses on the maternal-child dyadic relationship in order to support the child’s development and to promote maternal mental wellness.


She completed her child and adolescent psychiatry training at Children’s National Hospital, and her adult psychiatry training at the George Washington University. Dr. Wesley received her Medical Degree from the University of Connecticut, and a B.A. from Yale University. She has been involved in a number of research projects funded by the National Institute of Mental Health studying anxiety and the effects of parental emotion regulation on children.

Address: 111 Michigan Ave NW, Washington, DC 20010
Email: fetalbrain@childrensnational.org
Department: MRI Lab

Recent Publications & Presentations

Carolyn A. Greene, Alexis Lighten Wesley, Kimberly J. McCarthy, Erica L. Anderson, Lauren S. Wakschlag & Margaret J. Briggs-Gowan
Maternal socialization is associated with prosocial behavior in at-risk young children
Vulnerable Children and Youth Studies, 16:1, 7-19, DOI: 10.1080/17450128.2020.1861399 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17450128.2020.1861399
Youngblood MW, Chen WC, Mishra AM, Enamandram S, Sanganahalli BG, Motelow JE, Bai HX, Frohlich F, Gribizis A, Lighten A, Hyder F, Blumenfeld H.
Rhythmic 3-4Hz discharge is insufficient to produce cortical BOLD fMRI decreases in generalized seizures.
Neuroimage. 2015 Apr 1;109:368-77. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.12.066. Epub 2015 Jan 3. PMID: 25562830; PMCID: PMC4340775. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25562830/