Donate your body to science and get a free resting place at a Metro Detroit cemetery

You can help medical research and get a free final resting place.

The Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine and the Pixley Funeral Homes of Rochester formed the OUWB Body Donor Program. Those interested can sign up to be donated to science when they die.

"As an anatomist, I can understand the importance of body donation because without body donation, the medical students will not able to dissect and learn anatomy," said Dr. Malli Barremkala, an associate professor at OU.

He said the donations benefit all students studying medicine.

"The first-year medical students learn anatomy through dissection. That's going to be the majority of the things that donors are used for," said "Fourth-year medical students do an elective which is more surgical oriented, so they can learn procedures and techniques before going into their residencies."

Donors' ashes will be placed in a vault at Mount Avon Cemetery. Pixley Funeral Homes is partnering with the city of Rochester to make the vault possible. 

"There was no need for this building, so the city said, ‘Wouldn’t it be wonderful for an adaptive reuse of a historic building for the use of a medical school?’" said Vern Pixley, the president of Pixley Funeral Homes. "The urns will be placed in here. There's room for 5,000, so there will be years and years and years of use of this building."

Most bodies are accepted, and you don’t have to suffer from an ailment to participate. However, you must be 21 or older.

"We want to respect her wishes of the family, so that’s the reason we highly encourage people to talk to their family members before making this decision," Barremkala said.

If you would like to become a donor, contact or 248-370-3457.