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Principal Investigator

Dr. W.W.J. (Wendy) van de Sande

Associate Professor

  • Department
  • Medical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases
  • Focus area
  • Mycetoma
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Wendy van de Sande is currently an associate professor at the Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Her research focusses on the tropical neglected disease mycetoma. 


Mycetoma is a tropical neglected tropical disease of the subcutaneous disease. It is mainly found the foot and can be caused by more than 70 different causative agents. The causative agents can be of bacterial or fungal origin. The main causative agent is the fungus Madurella mycetomatis. Characteristic of this infection is that the causative agent produces grains. Fungal mycetoma is currently treated with antifungal agents and surgery but often results in amputations. Therefore the research of Dr van de Sande has been focussed on improving the management of mycetoma. She did this by developing novel diagnostic tools to be able to identify the causative agents directly from patient material and by identifying novel drugs with activity against fungal mycetoma causative agents. 

Ongoing research

In order to improve the diagnosis of mycetoma we have identified the first antigens of the main causative agent M. mycetomatis. We also developed DNA isolation methods directly from mycetoma grains and several molecular amplification methods including PCR, LAMP, RPA and RCA. We are currently evaluating these in the endemic regions.

In order to identify novel drugs for fungal mycetoma, we had to start by developing models first. In our lab we have developed the following models in which we can determine the efficacy of drugs against fungal mycetoma causative agents. These include:

We have developed these methods for several causative agents. In our search for novel compounds active against mycetoma causative agents we are following different strategies:

  • Determining if novel antifungal agents developed for other fungal diseases have activity against mycetoma causative agents, such as ravuconazole, olorofim and CIN-102
  • Using an Open Source Screening platform called MycetOS

Field(s) of expertise

  • Mycetoma
  • Neglected Tropical Diseases of the Skin

Education and career

Wendy van de Sande studied Biology and Laboratorium Sciences at Hogeschool Brabant in Etten-Leur, the Netherlands and graduated with honours. She than continued with a PhD immediately, which resulted in her PhD thesis “ Genetic Variability, Antigenicity and Antifungal Susceptibility of Madurella mycetomatis”. She obtained her PhD degree with honours in 2007.  After her PhD she obtained an ErasmusMC fellowship in 2009 and a Veni grant in 2010 which allowed her to continue her work on mycetoma. In 2013 she became a Medical Microbiological Scientist and in 2019 a fellow of the European confederation of Medical Mycology (FECMM).

Wendy van de Sande is convener from the Eumycetoma Working Group under the umbrella of the International Society for Human and Animal Mycosis (ISHAM) since 2007 and member of the steering committee of the Global Mycetoma Working group since 2017. 


Publications of Wendy van de Sande can be found at PubMed or on ORCID 

Teaching activities

Wendy van de Sande teaches bachelor, master and post-graduate courses. She gives lectures for the Bachelor Medicine and the Master Infection and Immunity of ErasmusMC. She is giving a lecture in the post-graduate course “Medical Mycology” of the Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Centre in Utrecht.  Practical tuition is given to second year medical students and to mycetoma scientists all over the world.

She also supervised the following PhD students as ‘co-promotor’ and daily supervisor:

  • Bertrand Nyuykonge (ongoing)
  • Emmanuel Siddig (ongoing) 
  • Wilson Lim (ongoing)
  • Shereen Omelfarouk (ongoing)
  • Patricia Verwer (2016)
  • Sarah Abdalla Ahmed Ibrahim (2016
  • Marcel Bruins (2014
  • Hassabelrasoul Elfadil Hassan Abdelgadir (2013)

Other positions

Wendy van de Sande is convener from the Eumycetoma Working Group under the umbrella of the International Society for Human and Animal Mycoses (ISHAM) since 2007 and member of the steering committee of the Global Mycetoma Working group since 2017. 

Scholarships, grants, and awards

Wendy van de Sande has received several grants and fellowships that support her research group from the Erasmus University (two EUR fellowships and an ErasmusMC fellowship) and the Dutch Scientific Organisation (Veni and Apasia fellowships). She is also part of the first clinical trial on a new drug for mycetoma which is sponsored by Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative.