Dr Martin De Bock

Martin de Bock is a paediatric endocrinologist who investigated the relationships between nutrition and the action of the hormone insulin for his PhD.

Key facts

Position: Paediatric endocrinologist and researcher, University of Western Australia, Perth
Programme: PhD
Research topic: Nutrition and insulin sensitivity
Primary supervisor: Professor Wayne Cutfield

Martin qualified from the University of Auckland School of Medicine in 2003. From 2003 to 2010 he worked clinically in Auckland and Taranaki, and specialised in paediatrics. He completed sub-specialist training in paediatric endocrinology, which included clinical service and a PhD.

For his PhD research project he investigated relationships between nutrition and the action of the hormone insulin. In collaboration with natural products company Comvita, he conducted a randomised controlled trial of an extract of fresh olive leaves in 46 overweight, middle-aged men. The trial showed that supplementation with the extract for 12 weeks improved the way that insulin was secreted and worked in this group, appreciably reducing some risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes.

Martin won the Royal Australasian College of Physicians’ Trainee Research Award (2012) for his presentation at the College’s annual conference. Having won the equivalent New Zealand award, he was selected to represent the country competing against the best trainees from each Australian State, across all paediatric and medical disciplines. "A feat rarely achieved by a New Zealander," commented his supervisor Professor Wayne Cutfield.

Martin is working as a paediatric endocrinologist in Perth and plans to return to New Zealand to pursue an academic career.

Explore the current list of masters and doctoral research projects on offer and their supervisors.