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

Editorial by concerned physicians: Unintended effect of the Orphan Drug Act on the potential cost of 3,4-diaminopyridine.
Burns TM, Smith GA, Allen JA, Amato AA, Arnold WD, Barohn R, Benatar M, Bird SJ, Bromberg M, Chahin N, Ciafaloni E, Cohen JA, Corse A, Crum BA, David WS, Dimberg E, De Sousa EA, Donofrio PD, Dyck PJ, Engel AG, Ensrud ER, Ferrante M, Freimer M, Gable KL, Gibson S, Gilchrist JM, Goldstein JM, Gooch CL, Goodman BP, Gorelov D, Gospe SM, Goyal NA, Guidon AC, Guptill JT, Gutmann L, Gutmann L, Gwathmey K, Harati Y, Harper CM, Hehir MK, Hobson-Webb LD, Howard JF, Jackson CE, Johnson N, Jones SM, Juel VC, Kaminski HJ, Karam C, Kennelly KD, Khella S, Khoury J, Kincaid JC, Kissel JT, Kolb N, Lacomis D, Ladha S, Larriviere D, Lewis RA, Li Y, Litchy WJ, Logigian E, Lou JS, MacGowen DJ, Maselli R, Massey JM, Mauermann ML, Mathews KD, Meriggioli MN, Miller RG, Moon JS, Mozaffar T, Nations SP, Nowak RJ, Ostrow LW, Pascuzzi RM, Peltier A, Ruzhansky K, Richman DP, Ross MA, Rubin DI, Russell JA, Sachs GM, Salajegheh MK, Saperstein DS, Scelsa S, Selcen D, Shaibani A, Sheih PB, Silvestri NJ, Singleton JR, Smith BE, So YT, Solorzano G, Sorenson EJ, Srinivasen J, Tavee J, Tawil R, Thaisetthawatkul P, Thornton C, Trivedi J, Vernino S, Wang AK, Webb TA, Weiss MD, Windebank AJ, Wolfe GI Muscle Nerve 2015 Dec
The spectrum of autoimmune encephalopathies.
Dubey D, Sawhney A, Greenberg B, Lowden A, Warnack W, Khemani P, Stuve O, Vernino S J. Neuroimmunol. 2015 Oct 287 93-7
Rituximab-based therapy and long-term control of autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy.
Gupta A, Harris S, Vernino S, Naina HV Clin. Auton. Res. 2015 Aug
Retrospective case series of the clinical features, management and outcomes of patients with autoimmune epilepsy.
Dubey D, Samudra N, Gupta P, Agostini M, Ding K, Van Ness PC, Vernino S, Hays R Seizure 2015 Jul 29 143-7
Factors contributing to delay in diagnosis of Guillain-Barré Syndrome and impact on clinical outcome.
Dubey D, Kapotic M, Freeman M, Sawhney A, Rojas-Martinez J, Warnack W, Vernino S Muscle Nerve 2015 Jul
MSPrecise: A molecular diagnostic test for multiple sclerosis using next generation sequencing.
Rounds WH, Salinas EA, Wilks TB, Levin MK, Ligocki AJ, Ionete C, Pardo CA, Vernino S, Greenberg BM, Bigwood DW, Eastman EM, Cowell LG, Monson NL Gene 2015 Jul
Unraveling the Enigma of Seronegative Myasthenia Gravis.
Vernino S JAMA Neurol 2015 Apr
Clinical experience of seropositive ganglionic acetylcholine receptor antibody in a tertiary neurology referral center.
Li Y, Jammoul A, Mente K, Li J, Shields RW, Vernino S, Rae-Grant A Muscle Nerve 2014 Dec
Effectiveness of multimodality treatment for autoimmune limbic epilepsy.
Dubey D, Konikkara J, Modur PN, Agostini M, Gupta P, Shu F, Vernino S Epileptic Disord 2014 Dec 16 4 494-9
Disproportionate pupillary involvement in diabetic autonomic neuropathy.
Yuan D, Spaeth EB, Vernino S, Muppidi S Clin. Auton. Res. 2014 Nov

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