Dr. van de Sande’s academic career began in the Netherlands where he received his B.Sc. eq. from the University of Leiden in 1963. He obtained his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Alberta in 1968, followed by postdoctoral work with Nobel Laureate Dr. H. Gobind Khorana at the Institute of Enzyme Research at the University of Wisconsin and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In 1972, Dr. van de Sande joined the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary and achieved the rank of Professor in 1979. In 1988 he became Head of the Department of Medical Biochemistry followed by Associate Dean (Research) for the Faculty of Medicine from 1993 to 1996. He also served as Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Medicine.
Dr. van de Sande has served on a wide range of senior governance committees at the university and faculty level. He has served on the Board of Governors of the University of Calgary as one of two General Faculties Council representatives to the Board. He has also served as the Director of Research of the Alberta Cancer Board, and has served on and chaired grant and scholarship committees for the Medical Research Council of Canada, the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, the National Cancer Institute, and has represented Canada on the Council of Scientists of the Human Frontier Science Program in Strassbourg, France. In addition, Dr. van de Sande served as the MRC Regional Director for Southern Alberta from 1994 to 1996. Dr. van de Sande has also chaired the Multidisciplinary Assessment Committee (MAC) for the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
Dr. van de Sande maintains an active research program in DNA structure and repair, with more than 125 publications in peer-reviewed literature. In 2005, he was the recipient of the 2005 Order of the University of Calgary.
Dr. van de Sande lives on Saltspring Island.