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.

She 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.


Medical School
State University of New York - Upstate (1969)
State University of New York - Syracuse (1970), Pediatrics
State University of New York - Syracuse (1971), Pediatrics
Washington University/St. Louis Childrens Hospital (1972), Pediatrics
Strong Mem Hosp Univ of Rochester (1975), Neurology

Specialty Areas

Clinical Interest

  • Neuro-Rehabilitation
  • Neuromuscular Medicine
  • Research Interest

    • Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
    • Neuromuscular diseases
    • Spinal Muscular Atrophy


    Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

    Results from a phase 1 study of nusinersen (ISIS-SMNRx) in children with spinal muscular atrophy.
    Chiriboga CA, Swoboda KJ, Darras BT, Iannaccone ST, Montes J, De Vivo DC, Norris DA, Bennett CF, Bishop KM Neurology 2016 Feb
    Baseline results of the NeuroNEXT spinal muscular atrophy infant biomarker study.
    Kolb SJ, Coffey CS, Yankey JW, Krosschell K, Arnold WD, Rutkove SB, Swoboda KJ, Reyna SP, Sakonju A, Darras BT, Shell R, Kuntz N, Castro D, Iannaccone ST, Parsons J, Connolly AM, Chiriboga CA, McDonald C, Burnette WB, Werner K, Thangarajh M, Shieh PB, Finanger E, Cudkowicz ME, McGovern MM, McNeil DE, Finkel R, Kaye E, Kingsley A, Renusch SR, McGovern VL, Wang X, Zaworski PG, Prior TW, Burghes AH, Bartlett A, Kissel JT Ann Clin Transl Neurol 2016 Feb 3 2 132-45
    Atypical Presentation for Friedreich Ataxia in a Child.
    Caron E, Burns D, Castro D, Iannaccone ST J Clin Neuromuscul Dis 2015 Sep 17 1 13-7
    Evidence-based guideline summary: Evaluation, diagnosis, and management of congenital muscular dystrophy: Report of the Guideline Development Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology and the Practice Issues Review Panel of the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine.
    Kang PB, Morrison L, Iannaccone ST, Graham RJ, Bönnemann CG, Rutkowski A, Hornyak J, Wang CH, North K, Oskoui M, Getchius TS, Cox JA, Hagen EE, Gronseth G, Griggs RC Neurology 2015 Mar 84 13 1369-78
    Intrafamilial variability in GMPPB-associated dystroglycanopathy: Broadening of the phenotype.
    Bharucha-Goebel DX, Neil E, Donkervoort S, Dastgir J, Wiggs E, Winder TL, Moore SA, Iannaccone ST, Bönnemann CG Neurology 2015 Mar
    Spinal muscular atrophy: therapeutic strategies.
    Castro D, Iannaccone ST Curr Treat Options Neurol 2014 Nov 16 11 316
    Congenital Myopathies and Muscular Dystrophies.
    Gilbreath HR, Castro D, Iannaccone ST Neurol Clin 2014 Aug 32 3 689-703
    Diagnostic approach to the congenital muscular dystrophies.
    Bönnemann CG, Wang CH, Quijano-Roy S, Deconinck N, Bertini E, Ferreiro A, Muntoni F, Sewry C, Béroud C, Mathews KD, Moore SA, Bellini J, Rutkowski A, North KN Neuromuscul. Disord. 2014 Apr 24 4 289-311


    Featured Books Legend Featured Books

    Honors & Awards

    • Best Pediatric Specialists
      D Magazine (2010-2015)
    • Speical award from graduating Pediatric Neurology residents for mentoring
    • Member, Executive Council
      American Neurological Association (2008)
    • Texas Super Doctors
      Texas Monthly Magazine (2008-2015)
    • Chair, Section on Child Neurology
      American Academy of Neurology (2007-2009)
    • Neurology Alumni Award
      University of Rochester Department of Neurology (2000)

    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