Biography

Steven Vernino, M.D., Ph.D., is a Distinguished Teaching Professor and Vice Chair for Education and Faculty Affairs in the Department of Neurology at UT Southwestern Medical Center. 

Dr. Vernino specializes in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating autoimmune neurological disorders, autonomic disorders, and neuromuscular disorders.  He is the founding Director of the Autonomic Disorders Clinic, the multidisciplinary Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) Clinic, and the Autonomic Disorders Fellowship Program. He is also Co-Director of the Autoimmune Neurology Fellowship Program

Dr. Vernino earned his medical degree and Ph.D. degree in neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine. He completed a neurology residency and fellowship training in neuroimmunology and electromyography (EMG) at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2004.

Dr. Vernino holds the Dr. Bob and Jean Smith Foundation Distinguished Chair in Neuromuscular Disease Research and the Rex Griswold Distinguished Professorship in Multiple System Atrophy. He is the director of the autonomic disorders program and MSA Mutidisciplinary clinic. His primary research goal is improving the diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune and autonomic neurological disorders.  He also leads a number of clinical trials for autonomic disorders and autoimmune encephalitis.  

Most notably, Dr. Vernino has helped define the relationship between autoimmune disorders and disorders of the autonomic nervous system and identified the antibodies to ganglionic acetylcholine receptors as the cause of autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy, a rare autonomic nervous system disorder. He has also characterized several neurological antibodies related to paraneoplastic disorders.  He has published more than 120 peer-reviewed articles and dozens of book chapters and reviews.

He has been selected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, the American Neurological Association and the American Autonomic Society. Dr. Vernino is board certified in neurology, neuromuscular medicine, and autonomic disorders. He serves as the president of the American Autonomic Society, the major professional society for the study of disorders of the autonomic nervous system.

Among his many professional activities, Dr. Vernino serves on the medical advisory boards of the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation, The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition, and Dysautonomia International. 

He has received numerous awards for his work as a clinician, researcher, and teacher, including the 1998 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Founders Award, the 2013 AAN Program Director Recognition Award, and the 2018 University of Texas Regents Outstanding Teacher Award. He was inducted into the Southwestern Academy of Teachers in 2015.

Education

Graduate School
Baylor College of Medicine (1992)
Other Post Graduate Training
Baylor College of Medicine (1992)
Medical School
Baylor College of Medicine (1994)
Internship
Mayo Clinic (1995), Internal Medicine
Residency
Mayo Clinic (1998), Neurology
Fellowship
Mayo Clinic (1999), Neuroimmunology

Research Interest

  • Autonomic effects of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors
  • Clinical treatment trials for autoimmune and autonomic disorders
  • Disorders of neuromuscular hyperexcitability
  • Paraneoplastic neurological syndromes
  • Serologic evaluation of patients with dysautonomia

Publications

Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Fulminant autoimmune cortical encephalitis associated with thymoma treated with plasma exchange.
Rickman OB, Parisi JE, Yu Z, Lennon VA, Vernino S Mayo Clin. Proc. 2000 Dec 75 12 1321-6
New Purkinje cell antibody (PCA-2): marker of lung cancer-related neurological autoimmunity.
Vernino S, Lennon VA Ann. Neurol. 2000 Mar 47 3 297-305
Myasthenia, thymoma, presynaptic antibodies, and a continuum of neuromuscular hyperexcitability.
Vernino S, Auger RG, Emslie-Smith AM, Harper CM, Lennon VA Neurology 1999 Oct 53 6 1233-9
Coma in fulminant pneumococcal meningitis: new MRI observations.
Vernino S, Wijdicks EF, McGough PF Neurology 1998 Oct 51 4 1200-2
Neuronal nicotinic ACh receptor antibody in subacute autonomic neuropathy and cancer-related syndromes.
Vernino S, Adamski J, Kryzer TJ, Fealey RD, Lennon VA Neurology 1998 Jun 50 6 1806-13
68-year-old woman with dyspnea and chest pain.
Vernino SA, Moder KG Mayo Clin. Proc. 1996 May 71 5 485-8
Postpartum thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura complicated by Budd-Chiari syndrome.
Hsu HW, Belfort MA, Vernino S, Moake JL, Moise KJ Obstet Gynecol 1995 May 85 5 Pt 2 839-43
Quantitative measurement of calcium flux through muscle and neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.
Vernino S, Rogers M, Radcliffe KA, Dani JA J. Neurosci. 1994 Sep 14 9 5514-24
Functional diversity of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.
Patrick J, Séquéla P, Vernino S, Amador M, Luetje C, Dani JA Prog. Brain Res. 1993 98 113-20
Calcium modulation and high calcium permeability of neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.
Vernino S, Amador M, Luetje CW, Patrick J, Dani JA Neuron 1992 Jan 8 1 127-34

Books

Featured Books Legend Featured Books

Autoimmune Autonomic Failure. In Handbook of Clinical Neurology, Volume 117: Autonomic Nervous System

Muppidi S, Vernino S (2013). Elsevier

Honors & Awards

  • President
    American Autonomic Society (2020-2022)
  • Fellow
    American Autonomic Society (2018)
  • University of Texas Regents Outstanding Teacher Award
    (2016)
  • UT Southwestern Academy of Teachers
    (2014)
  • Program Director Recognition Award
    American Academy of Neurology (CNPD) (2013)
  • Best Doctors
    D Magazine (2012-2019)
  • Fellow
    American Academy of Neurology (2007)
  • Fellow
    American Neurological Association (2005)
  • Founders Award for Clinical Research
    American Academy of Neurology (1998)
  • Woltman Award for Clinical Neurology
    Mayo Clinic (1998)
  • DeBakey Scholar Award
    Baylor College of Medicine (1994)
  • Rush Record Excellence in Neuroscience Award
    Baylor College of Medicine (1992)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • Dysautonomia International (2014)
  • Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) Coalition (2013)
  • Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (2007)
  • American Academy of Neurology
  • American Autonomic Society
  • American Neurological Association