Martin De Beer | Student
Start term: Fall 2014
Hometown: Cape Town, South Africa
Department: Chemical Engineering
Research Interests: Microfluidics, metabolomics, islets, diabetes
Advisor: Mark Burns
Undergraduate degree: BSc in Chemical Engineering at the University of Cape Town
Why I chose Michigan?
I chose Michigan because of the strong chemical engineering PhD program and the diverse and interesting fields that are being researched. Why I ultimately decided to leave Cape Town (i.e. paradise) for the cold midwest—I’m still trying to figure that out.
What is your current research at Michigan?
My current research involves in-vitro manipulation of the culture environment of pancreatic islet cells and the effect this has on the metabolism of these cells. We hope to elucidate a link between the metabolic functions of these cells and metabolic diseases such as diabetes.
What is the best thing about being at Michigan or in Ann Arbor?
Besides all the great facilities and opportunities to do some really cool things here, the people are very welcoming and have definitely made living away from home for 51 weeks a year much more pleasant.