Benjamin Cheyette, MD, PhD

Director of ADHD Programming

Dr. Cheyette is Board-Certified in Psychiatry with over twenty years of practice treating a wide variety of patients including those with depression. He loves general psychiatry and has a clinical interest and expertise in adult ADHD.

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More about Benjamin Cheyette, MD, PhD

Since high school if not earlier, Dr. Benjamin Cheyette has been analytical about human behavior and interested in the brain. While initially leaning towards academia, he found great satisfaction in direct patient care during medical school and beyond. Throughout his years of research and professorship, he continued to treat patients and is passionate about helping people overcome emotional challenges.

He has a collaborative approach that emphasizes sharing his deep formal expertise and clinical experience to help patients make well-informed decisions. He recognizes that for all patients in the outpatient setting, treatment for mental health is a choice, and so a patient must be on board with any proposed therapeutic approach. He has found the best way to achieve this is by offering a thorough explanation of his thought process, so that his patients understand his rationale for recommending a course of treatment.

Having spent several decades in academia as a research scientist, Dr. Benjamin Cheyette is interested in cutting-edge innovations such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), the emerging field of psychedelic medicine, and applying these treatments to patient care in an evidence-based manner.

Personal Interests

He appreciates music, is an avid reader, and enjoys movies, particularly comedies. Other interests include playing guitar, and the martial arts. He loves dogs, and he and his family currently have a pair of very lovable miniature poodles (both rescue animals).

Education & Experience

Dr. Cheyette was a National Merit Scholar and completed his undergraduate degree in biology from Princeton University, graduating magna cum laude.

He received his medical degree from the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) while simultaneously completing a PhD in Molecular Biology, both fully funded by an NIH scholarship.

Following graduation, he completed residency in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, where he received the National Institute of Mental Health Outstanding Resident Award, the American Psychiatric Association Excellence in Psychiatry Residency Award, and an Academic Excellence Award from the University of Washington Department of Psychiatry. During this time, he also completed postdoctoral scientific research and was awarded several research fellowships, including an NIH award, a Pfizer Postdoctoral Scholarship, and a Brain & Behavior Research Foundation Young Investigator Award.

Following completion of his Residency, Dr. Cheyette combined his affinity for research and teaching with his desire to help patients. He initially became an Acting Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Washington, where alongside teaching and mentoring residents, he worked as an Attending Physician on the Inpatient Psychiatry and Consult-Liaison Services.

He moved to the San Francisco Bay Area upon accepting the position of Assistant Professor at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF.) During his time at UCSF, in addition to his teaching role, he was the Principal Investigator of an NIH-funded laboratory investigating psychiatrically-relevant mechanisms of neuronal, dendritic spine and synapse development in the brain. He produced over thirty peer-reviewed original research articles during his time in Academia, including major articles in Cell, Neuron, the Journal of Neuroscience, Nature Genetics, Molecular Psychiatry, Translational Psychiatry, Cerebral Cortex, etc. He became a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and eventually retired from UCSF as Professor Emeritus, a position he holds to this day.

Concurrently, he continued to treat patients, and before retiring from UCSF served as the Director of the Psychiatry Consult-Liaison Service, where he provided psychiatric consultation services to the emergency department and assessment and treatment for patients on the medical and surgical wards and Intensive Care units. In addition to mentoring medical students and residents, he helped medical colleagues and nursing staff work effectively with patients experiencing mental health crises in the general hospital setting.

Most recently, he worked as a clinician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (Sutter Health), a large multi-specialty practice. There he assessed and treated a wide range of outpatient behavioral health issues, providing comprehensive compassionate care in a community setting.


Ebens, AJ, Garren, H, Cheyette, BNR, and Zipursky, SL. (1993) The Drosophila anachronism locus: a glycoprotein secreted by glia inhibits neuroblast proliferation. Cell, 74: 15-27, 1993. PMID:7916657

Cheyette, BNR, Green, PJ, Martin, K, Garren, H, Hartenstein, V, and Zipursky, SL. (1994) The Drosophila sine oculis locus encodes a homeodomain-containing protein required for the development of the entire visual system. Neuron, 12: 977-996, 1994. PMID: 7910468

Oliver, G, Wehr, R, Jenkins, NA, Copeland, NG, Cheyette, BNR, Hartenstein, V, Zipursky, SL, and Gruss, P. Homeobox genes and connective tissue patterning. Development, 121: 693-705, 1995. PMID: 7720577

Cheyette, BNR, Waxman, JS, Miller, JR, Takemaru, KI, Sheldahl, LC, Khlebtsova, N, Fox, EP, Earnest, T, and Moon, RT. Dapper, a Dishevelled-Associated Antagonist of ß-catenin and JNK Signaling, is required for Notochord Formation, Developmental Cell, 2: 449-461, 2002. PMID: 11970895

Kovoor, A, Seyffarth, P, Ebert, J, Barghshoon, S, Ching-Kang, C, Schwarz, S, Axelrod, JD, Cheyette, BNR, Simon, MI, Lester, HA, and Schwarz, J. D2-dopamine Receptors Colocalize RGS9-2 via the RGS9 DEP domain and RGS9 knockout mice develop dyskinesias associated with dopamine pathways. Journal of Neuroscience, 25: 2157-65, 2005. PMID: 15728856

Cheyette, BNR, Cheyette, SNR, Cusmano-Ozog, K, Enns, GM. Dopa-responsive dystonia presenting as delayed and awkward gait. Pediatric Neurology, 38: 273-275, 2008. PMID: 21718540

Jiang, T, Tan, J, Li, J, Kivimäe, S, Zhuang, L, Lee, PY, Chan, MTW, Liu, ET, Cheyette, BNR, Yu, Q. DACT3 is a Key Epigenetic Regulator of Wnt/ß-catenin Signaling in Colorectal Cancer and is a Therapeutic Target of Histone Modifications. Cancer Cell, 13: 529-541, 2008. PMID: 18538736.

Suriben R, Kivimäe S, Fisher DA, Moon RT, Cheyette, BNR. Posterior malformations in Dact1 mutant mice arise through misregulated Vangl2 at the Primitive Streak. Nature Genetics, 41: 977-985, 2009. PMID: 19701191

Okerlund ND, Kivimäe S, Tong CK, Peng I-F, Ullian EM, Cheyette BNR. Dact1 is a postsynaptic protein required for dendrite, spine, and excitatory synapse development in the mouse forebrain. Journal of Neuroscience, 30:4362-8, 2010. PMID: 20335472

Martin P-M, Yang XY, Robin N, Lam E, Rabinowitz J, Erdman CA, Quinn J, Weiss LA, Hamilton SP, Kwok P, Moon RT, Cheyette BNR. A rare WNT1 missense variant over-represented in ASD leads to increased Wnt signal pathway activation. Translational Psychiatry, 3:e301, 2013. PMID: 24002087

Okerlund N, Stanley R, Cheyette BNR. The Planar Cell Polarity Transmembrane Protein Vangl2 Promotes Dendrite, Spine and Glutamatergic Synapse Formation in the Mammalian Forebrain. Molecular Neuropsychiatry, 2:107-114, 2016. PMID: 27606324

Cheyette BNR, Cheyette SNR. Acute Exacerbation of Irritable Bowel Syndrome Prevented by prn Oral Triptan. Clinical Journal of Gastroenterology, 2016. PMID: 27699640

Martin PM, Stanley RE, Ross AP, Freitas AE, Moyer CE, Brumback AC, Iafrati J, Stapornwongkul KS, Dominguez S, Kivimae S, Mulligan KA, Pirooznia M, McCombie WR, Potash JB, Zandi PP, Purcell SM, Sanders SJ, Zuo Y, Sohal VS, Cheyette BNR. DIXDC1 contributes to psychiatric susceptibility by regulating dendritic spine and glutamatergic synapse density via GSK3 and Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Molecular Psychiatry, 23: 467-475, 2018 PMID 27752079; PMC5395363

Yang XY, Stanley RE, Ross AP, Robitaille AM, Gray JA, Cheyette BNR. Sestd1 encodes a developmentally-dynamic synapse protein that complexes with BCR Rac1-GAP to regulate forebrain dendrite, spine and synapse formation. Cerebral Cortex, 29: 505-516, 2019 doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhx333

Darbandi S, Robinson Schwartz SE, Pai EL, Everitt A, Turner ML, Cheyette BNR, Wilsey AJ, State MW, Sohal VS, Rubenstein JLR. Enhancing WNT Signaling Restores Cortical Neuronal Spine Maturation and Synaptogenesis in Tbr1 Mutants. Cell Reports, 31:2020. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.03.059. PMID: 32294447

Book: Cheyette SNR, Johnson P, Cheyette BNR. “ADHD & The Focused Mind” (book; self-help/parenting & relationships category; 260 pages), Square One, New York, 2016. n.b. Gold Medal (top-prize) winner of the 2017 Benjamin Franklin Award from the Independent Book Publishers’ Association, Parenting Category; see:

Blog: “Healthy Prescriptions” – Psychology Today

Blog: “1-2-3-ADHD Attention in Focus” – with Sarah R. Cheyette MD, Psychology Today

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