Former Director of Microscopy Dee Breger passed away in September after a battle with leukemia.
Breger came to the department in March of 2004 to work in the Centralized Research Facilities (now known as the Core Facilities), which at that time were part of Drexel Materials and ultimately became a College of Engineering and then Drexel University resource. Breger came from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, where she had worked for 40 years, first as a scientific illustrator and ultimately as founder and manager of their Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)/X-Ray Microanalysis (EDX) Facility. An artist by training, Breger took to the newer technology of the SEM, becoming known for her beautiful false-colored SEM micrographs. She also participated on numerous field expeditions around the world with Lamont-Doherty scientists.
While at Drexel, Breger received extensive visibility for her work, including several public and private exhibitions; Honorable Mention in the National Science Foundation/Science Magazine 2004 Visualization Challenge; peer-reviewed and popular publications, such as The New York Times and Science; websites; talks; and film. In an interview with Breger in August of 2004, she spoke of the natural alliance between science and art as both “creative activities.” Upon leaving Drexel, she launched Micrographic Arts, working as a consultant and artist.
The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory wrote up a fitting tribute to Breger, detailing her contributions to the intersection of science and art.