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Ayesha C. Sujan, PhD

Ayesha Sujan, PhD, is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research specializing in maternal mental health and substance use. She completed her doctoral training in the Department of Psychological and Brian Sciences at Indiana University – Bloomington in Spring 2020 and her clinical internship at the Medical University of South Carolina in Summer 2021. Though her doctoral training focused on clinical psychology, her training spanned multiple disciplines, including developmental psychology, epidemiology, and pharmacology. She also received her master’s degree in Human Development from Cornell University and did her ungraduated studies at Tulane University where she double majored in psychology and studio art.

Broadly speaking, she conducts translational research focused on preventing early exposure to risk factors from having adverse consequences on child development. Her research initially focused on early-life adversities, particularly abuse and neglect, and then expanded to include the prenatal period. Though she studies the consequences of a number of pregnancy-related risk factors, including early and advancing maternal age at childbearing and short and long interpregnancy interval, her work mainly focuses on prenatal exposure to psychoactive substances (e.g., antidepressants, opioids, and cannabis) and risk for adverse birth outcomes (e.g., preterm birth) and neurodevelopmental problems (e.g., autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder).

Current Positions

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Section Affiliations

Primary Research Interests

  • Prenatal exposures
  • Perinatal mental health
  • Pharmacoepidemiology


What do we know about in-utero antidepressant exposure, and are these medications safe to use during pregnancy?

Authors: Sujan, Ayesha C

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2022 06;145(6):541-543. Epub 2022-04-20.

PubMed abstract

Maternal Serotonergic Antidepressant Use in Pregnancy and Risk of Seizures in Children

Authors: Wiggs, Kelsey Kathleen; Sujan, Ayehsa C; Rickert, Martin E; Quinn, Patrick D; Larsson, Henrik; Lichtenstein, Paul; D'Onofrio, Brian M; Oberg, A Sara

Neurology. 2022 May 11.

PubMed abstract

A retrospective, observational study on medication for opioid use disorder during pregnancy and risk for neonatal abstinence syndrome

Authors: Sujan, Ayesha; Cleary, Emma; Douglas, Edie; Aujla, Rubin; Boyars, Lisa; Smith, Claire; Guille, Constance

Fam Pract. 2022 03 24;39(2):311-315.

PubMed abstract

A Nation-Wide Swedish Cohort Study on Early Maternal Age at First Childbirth and Risk for Offspring Deaths, Accidents, and Suicide Attempts

Authors: Sujan, Ayesha C; O'Reilly, Lauren M; Rickert, Martin E; Larsson, Henrik; Lichtenstein, Paul; Oberg, A Sara; D'Onofrio, Brian M

Behav Genet. 2022 01;52(1):38-47. Epub 2021-11-11.

PubMed abstract

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