A Closer Look
The Beauty of #SciArt
“Things I’ve seen through a microscope” is the straightforward way Margaret (Meg) Davis, Ph.D., describes her X, formerly known as Twitter, channel, @BrainsRus . Dr. Davis is a retired National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) neuroscientist and anatomist, who remains dedicated to tweeting about and sharing her fascination with “#SciArt”—the dazzling and colorful scenes visible thanks to innovations in neuroscientific imaging.
Scientific images are frequently works of art but languish on computers after their scientific utility has passed. I wanted to share some of these images with a broader audience as art, so I began a Twitter feed,” said Dr. Davis. “Although I’m retired, I still answer anatomy and imaging questions from other scientists and trainees, and share interesting research papers on Twitter.”
Before she retired, Dr. Davis worked as a Staff Scientist with NIAAA Scientific Director David Lovinger, Ph.D., Chief of the Laboratory for Integrative Neuroscience (LIN), part of NIAAA’s Division of Intramural Clinical and Biological Research (DICBR). Dr. Davis’ images (shown here) are possible through the excellent resources within LIN and DICBR, including microscopes for widefield and subcellular imaging. Many more images are featured on her X account and publications. “Throughout her career, Meg also mentored a stellar group of trainees who share her enthusiasm for the artistry in neuroanatomy and imaging,” commented Dr. Lovinger. “Many are now independent researchers with their own laboratories, generating eye-popping images discovered in a universe—as Dr. Davis might say—’seen through a microscope.’”
Dr. Lovinger said, “Meg is an outstanding neuroanatomist with expertise in fluorescence microscopy and immunohistochemistry, and she has an artist’s eye for capturing the stunning beauty of the brain seen through microscopy.” Dr. Davis’ images have adorned several journal covers, he noted, and she also contributed to a cell science exhibit in Paris. “And I still see some of Meg’s artwork displayed in a conference center in Building 1 at the National Institutes of Health,” he said.