Susan Iannaccone, M.D.

  • Warren A. Weinberg, M.D., Chair in Pediatric Neurology and Learning
  • Pediatric Neurology
  • Neurorehabilitation


Since completing her residency training under the mentorship of Drs. Robert Joynt and Berch Griggs, she has focused her career on the neuromuscular disorders of childhood.  For the past two decades, Dr. Susan Iannaccone has worked on management protocols and outcome measures for the most common disorders: spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). She was the PI and leader for an NIH sponsored clinical trials group, AmSMART from 2000 through 2008. With NIH funding, the group established for the first time reliability and validity for outcome measures in the young spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) population. Current trials in pediatric SMA use many of the principles they established in AmSMART. She was a member of the Outcomes Committee for the International Coordinating Committee for SMA that completed Rasch analysis for motor function outcomes in SMA. This international project made great progress toward validating a single tool to be used as motor function outcome in this population. Currently, she is site-PI for more than half a dozen clinical trials in SMA and DMD.

Dr. Iannaccone is Co-Investigator for the UT Southwestern NeuroNEXT grant from NINDS, and Associate Director for the UT Southwestern Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Center, NIH funded.  She is site PI for the MDA sponsored DMD Research Network. Dallas is one of 5 sites funded for 5 years to perform clinical trials in young boys with DMD. She was Co-chair of the panel to develop Common Data Elements for Pediatric Neuromuscular disease, a project of the NINDS. She was a member of the panels that developed CDEs for congenital muscular dystrophy and for SMA. She was also an invited member of a Steering Committee to govern the project for conducting IND enabling toxicology studies for scAAV9-SMN gene therapy developed at Nationwide Children’s hospital in Columbus, Ohio. The IP is now in clinical trials sponsored by AveXis, and she is site PI for UTSW. She has worked closely over many years with several patient advocacy/volunteer groups including the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and Cure SMA, including but not limited to, the International Standard of Care Committee for Congenital Muscular Dystrophies and the DMD Study Group. She has served on research grant review committees, as well as several planning committees and panels, for them and the NIH.

Dr. Iannaccone was Director of Pediatric Neurology from 2004 to 2016, including duties for training residents and mentoring faculty. Dr. Iannaccone has trained/mentored more than 20 pediatric neuromuscular fellows and medical students, many of whom are currently in academic pediatric neurology positions. She holds 4 pediatric neuromuscular clinics per week, all of which are official MDA sponsored clinics. 

Nearly 100% of all children diagnosed with DMD/SMA in north Texas are referred to her team either by their primary care provider, another child neurologist, or by parents who read about their program on the internet. Most of the time, they request information about clinical trials at the first visit and invariably indicate that they are anxious to participate.

In 2020, Dr. Iannaccone was included in D Magazine's Best Pediatric Specialists list, and in 2018 she was included in D Magazine's Best Doctors list and was named a Super Doctor by Texas Monthly.

Education & Training
  • Medical School - State University of New York - Upstate (1965-1969)
  • Internship - State University of New York Upstate Medical University (1969-1970), Pediatrics
  • Residency - State University of New York Upstate Medical University (1970-1971), Pediatrics
  • Residency - Washington University/St. Louis Childrens Hospital (1971-1972), Pediatrics
  • Fellowship - Strong Mem Hosp Univ of Rochester (1972-1975), Neurology
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • Academy of Pediatrics
  • American Academy of Neurology
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • International Child Neurology Association
  • Muscular Dystrophy Association of America
  • New York Academy of Science
  • Southern Society for Pediatric Research
  • The Society for Pediatric Research
Honors & Awards
  • D Magazine Best Pediatric Specialist (2010-2017, 2020)
  • Texas Super Doctors 2008-2017, Texas Monthly Magazine
  • Speical award from graduating Pediatric Neurology residents for mentoring 2010
  • Member, Executive Council 2008, American Neurological Association
  • Chair, Section on Child Neurology 2007-2009, American Academy of Neurology
  • Neurology Alumni Award 2000, University of Rochester Department of Neurology
Books & Publications
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy
  • Neuromuscular diseases
  • Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

Clinical Focus

  • Neurorehabilitation

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