Research Epidemiologist, Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications
National Eye Institute (NEI)
National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD
- Epidemiology of ocular diseases and vision disorders
- Vision health services research
Dr. Vitale is currently a member of the external working group of the NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research and an adjunct Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD. She also serves as a member of the NIH Combined Neurosciences Institutional Review Board and the NEI Intramural Clinical Research Review Committee and is an inaugural Silver Fellow of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO). Her current work includes continued research on factors associated with myopia and visual impairment in Americans; further collaboration on the use of dynamic light scattering to measure early cataract; and collaboration on large epidemiologic studies of uveitis.
Dr. Vitale has authored dozens of scientific manuscripts that have appeared in publications such as the Journal of the American Medical Association and Lancet, as well as major ophthalmology journals.
- Discovered that the percentage of Americans with nearsightedness has increased significantly over the past 30 years.
- Calculated that correction of distance vision impairments in all Americans with refractive error would cost the country more than $3.8 billion.
- Reported that over 80% of Americans with visual impairment could achieve good visual acuity with correction (eyeglasses or contact lenses).
- Conducted data analysis for several studies of uveitis, an inflammation of the eye, including an award-winning study that characterized the long-term vision problems of people with childhood uveitis (Clinical Uveitis Research Award).
The National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health, leads the federal government's research on the visual system and eye diseases. NEI supports basic and clinical science programs that result in the development of sight-saving treatments.