Craig M. McDonald, M.D.

Chair, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

To see if Craig M. McDonald is accepting new patients, or for assistance finding a UC Davis doctor, please call 800-2-UCDAVIS (800-282-3284).



Neuromuscular Medicine

Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine

Locations and Contact

Lawrence J. Ellison Ambulatory Care Center

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
4860 Y St.
Sacramento, CA 95817

Get Directions

Phone: 916-734-7041

Additional Numbers

Clinic Referral Phone

800-UCD-4-KIDS (800-823-4543)

Physician Referrals

800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)

Philosophy of Care

Dr. McDonald believes in team-based multidisciplinary care for patients with complex health challenges due to neuromuscular diseases. He describes his mission as providing collaborative, coordinated care while pursuing the discovery of innovative therapeutics to improve health, function, and quality of life. His overall long-term vision is to provide hope for a healthier, more functional individual through compassionate care and bold innovation.

Clinical Interests

Dr. McDonald is a pediatric physical medicine & rehabilitation physician who is board-certified in neuromuscular medicine and pediatric rehabilitation medicine. He is an internationally recognized expert in clinical management, rehabilitation, and precision therapeutics for children and adults with neuromuscular diseases. He has an internationally known reputation for the treatment and evaluation of children and young adults with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and other neuromuscular diseases.

Research/Academic Interests

Dr. McDonald’s research has focused on the development of novel therapeutics for neuromuscular diseases. He conducts clinical trials and natural history studies in muscular dystrophies using novel outcome measures developed specifically for clinical trials. His work has contributed to the development of precision-based therapeutics for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and the first two approved therapies targeting the dystrophin gene abnormalities that cause Duchenne muscular dystrophy.


Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Pediatric Orthopaedics

Center/Program Affiliation

UC Davis Children's Hospital
Center for Neuroscience

Undergraduate School

A.B., Human Biology, Stanford University, Stanford CA 1982

Medical School

M.D., University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle WA 1987

Other School

M.S., Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington Graduate School, Seattle WA1991


Pediatric Rehabilitation, University of Washington, Seattle WA 1989-1992


Pediatrics, UCLA, Los Angeles CA 1987-1989


Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Washington, Seattle WA 1989-1991


Pediatric Rehabilitation, University of Washington, Seattle WA 1991-1992

UC Davis Hibbard Williams Extraordinary Achievement Award in Recognition of Lifetime Commitment and Service to the School of Medicine, 2023

Selected for the 2023 Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Award nationally by the Clinical Research Forum, 2023

Selected as a “Castle Connolly Top Doctor” for 2023 by a Peer Review Survey of national physicians conducted by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd, 2023

Annual "Top Doctors in Sacramento" List by Sacramento Magazine (2011-2021), 2021

Carrell-Krusen Award, 42nd Annual Carrell-Krusen Neuromuscular Conference, 2020

Distinguished Researcher Award, American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine, 2019

Carolyn Braddom Ritzler Research Award from the Association of Academic Physiatrists, 2019

McDonald C, Henricson E, Leinonen M, Linden A, Guglieri M, Clemens P, Griggs R, Shieh P, Horrocks S, Mah J, Finkel R, Goemans N, Straub V, Ryan M, McMillan H, Spinty S, Hoffman E. Daily regimens of prednisone, deflazacort and vamorolone improve motor function similarly in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Neuromuscular Disorders. 2022 Oct;32(1):S102. doi:10.1016/j.nmd.2022.07.249.

Zaidman C, Proud C, McDonald C, Mason S, Guridi M, Wang S, Reid C, Darton E, Wandel C, Lewis S, Malhotra J, Griffin D, Potter R, Rodino-Klapac L, Mendell J. One-year data from ENDEAVOR, a phase 1b trial of delandistrogene moxeparvovec in boys with DMD. Neuromuscular Disorders. 2022 Oct;32(1):S101. doi:10.1016/j.nmd.2022.07.245.

Zaidman C, Shieh P, Proud C, McDonald C, Day J, Mason S, Guridi M, Hu L, Yu L, Reid C, Darton E, Wandel C, Richardson J, Malhotra J, Singh T, Rodino-Klapac L, Mendell J. Integrated analyses of data from clinical trials of delandistrogene moxeparvovec in DMD. Neuromuscular Disorders. 2022 Oct;32(1):S101. doi:10.1016/j.nmd.2022.07.244.

McDonald C, Gordish-Dressman H, Signorovitch J, Sajeev G, Fillbrunn M, Frean M, Ward S, Goemans N, Vandenborne K, Mercuri E, Muntoni F, Investigators for CINRG-DNHS, The PRO-DMD-01 Study, The Imaging DMD Study, and The iMDEX Study, Collaborative Trajectory Analysis. Validation of a composite prognostic score for time to loss of ambulation in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Neuromuscular Disorders. 2022 Oct;32(1):S69. doi:10.1016/j.nmd.2022.07.116.

McDonald C, Muntoni F, Marden J, Goemans N, Gomez-Lievano A, Zhang A, Ward S, Signorovitch J. Development and evaluation of a time to event endpoint for clinical trials in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Neuromuscular Disorders. 2022 Oct;32(1):S69. doi:10.1016/j.nmd.2022.07.115.

Muntoni F, Signorovitch J, Goemans N, Manzur A, Done N, Sajeev G, Niks E, Servais L, Straub V, de Groot I, Ward S, McDonald C. Predicting trajectories of ambulatory function in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Neuromuscular Disorders. 2022 Oct;32(1):S69. doi:10.1016/j.nmd.2022.07.114.

McDonald C, Ward S, Signorovitch J, Muntoni F, Goemans N, Wong B, Vandenborne K, Manzur A, Sajeev G, Mercuri E. Accelerating clinical development of new therapeutics with patient data: evidence from the collaborative Trajectory Analysis Program (cTAP) in DMD. Neuromuscular Disorders. 2022 Oct;32(1):S53-S54. doi:10.1016/j.nmd.2022.07.052.

Mercuri E, Muntoni F, Buccella F, Desguerre I, Kirschner J, Nascimento Osorio A, Tulinius M, Morgenroth L, Gordish-Dressman H, Johnson S, Werner C, Jiang J, Li J, Jia J, Trifillis P, McDonald C. Age at loss of ambulation in patients with DMD from the STRIDE registry and the CINRG natural history study: A matched cohort analysis. Neuromuscular Disorders. 2022 Oct;32(1):S52. doi:10.1016/j.nmd.2022.07.045.

Clemens P, Gordish-Dressman H, Niizawa G, Gorni K, Guglieri M, Connolly A, Wicklund M, Bertorini T, Mahi J, Thangarajh M, Smith E, Kuntz N, McDonald C, Henricson E, Upadhyayula S, Byrne B, Manousakis G, Harper A, Iannaccone S, Dang U. Analysis of the longitudinal CINRG Becker natural history study dataset. Neuromuscular Disorders. 2022 Oct;32(1):S50. doi:10.1016/j.nmd.2022.07.037.

To view more of Dr. McDonald's publications, please visit his PubMed link here.