Miriam Cnop graduated from Medical School at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 1995 with First Class Honors. She was trained in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology in Brussels and obtained a PhD degree for her work on the effects of lipoproteins and free fatty acids on pancreatic beta cells. She worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Steven Kahn at the University of Washington in Seattle, studying the relative contribution of insulin resistance and beta cell dysfunction in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes, and the relationship between body fat distribution and adipokines. She then joined the Endocrine Division of the Erasmus Hospital and the Laboratory of Experimental Medicine, directed by Decio Eizirik, at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles. Her principle research interests are the role of beta cell dysfunction in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes and the molecular mechanisms of free fatty acid-induced pancreatic beta cell apoptosis, with a focus on the role of endoplasmic reticulum stress in the initiation of the beta cell death program. She was awarded a prize for Research in Endocrinology by the Royal Academy of Science of Belgium in 2003, the Novo Nordisk Prize for Diabetology in Belgium in 2004, and selected for the Rising Star Symposium of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes Annual Meeting in 2005.