The Division of Epidemiology and Clinical Applications (DECA) has three main functions: research, education, and consultation.
Research is the dominant function. It is the Division's mission to plan, develop, and conduct human population studies concerned with the cause, prevention, and treatment of eye disease and vision disorders, with emphasis on the major causes of blindness and visual impairment. This includes studies of incidence and prevalence in defined populations, prospective and retrospective studies of risk factors, natural history studies, clinical trials, genetic studies, and studies to evaluate diagnostic procedures.
The DECA carries out a program of education in biometric and epidemiologic principles and methods for the vision research community. This program consists of courses, workshops, a fellowship program for ophthalmologists, publications, and consultation and collaboration on research.
The Division provides biometric and epidemiologic assistance to National Eye Institute (NEI) intramural and extramural staff and to vision research workers elsewhere. The assistance ranges from consultation to collaboration as co-investigators. It provides scientific support to investigators at the NIH Clinical Center as well as extramurally. It provides scientific support to investigators at the NIH Clinical Center as well as extramurally.