Edinburgh Research Explorer

Dr Sander van den Driesche

Academic Track Lecturer (Zhejiang)

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MSc Biology, University of Utrecht, 2000

PhD Molecular Developmental Biology, University of Utrecht, 2005


I finished my first degree at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands where I studied Biology with a specific interest in Developmental Biology and Molecular Biology. As part of my MSc degree I did two extensive research projects at the University of Utrecht, namely a 6 months project in the group of Prof Tony Durston at the Hubrecht Laboratory and a 9 months project in the group for Developmental Biology under supervision by Drs Andre van Loon and Wim Dictus. I followed this with a PhD in Molecular Biology, again with a specific interest in Developmental Biology, at the Hubrecht Laboratory under the supervision of Prof Christine Mummery and Dr Franck Lebrin. I then moved to Edinbugh, Scotland in 2005 where I started working as a research technician in 2006 in the group of Prof Colin Duncan at the Centre for Reproductive Biology, Univerisity of Utrecht. In 2008 I joined the group of Prof Richard Sharpe as a Career Development Fellow at the MRC Human Reproductive Sciences Unit. In 2011 I became a senior postdoc in Prof Richard Sharpe's group at the MRC/UoE Centre for Reproductive Health within the University of Edinburgh. In September 2016 I started my current position as an academic track lecturer within the Deanery of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. 

Current Research Interests

My current research interests are:

- The fetal origins of the most commonest human male reproductive disorders of newborn and young adult males, which is also called 'Testicular Dysgenesis Syndrome'. 

- A general and basic understanding of the development and function of the testis and male reproductive tract and how physiology, endocrinology, biochemistry and molecular biology play their parts in this development and how mis-development could result in male reproductive health disorders.

- Effects of environmental chemical exposures and lifestyle factors on the development of the testis, the reproductive tract and their functions, which affects spermotegensis and fertility.

- Fetal programming of adult (male) diseases, focussing on male reproductive health and function.

- Male reproductive toxicology.


I am partly responsible for the development of the Biomedical Sciences undergraduate programme at the Zhejiang-Edinburgh institute.

I also give lectures on male reproductive health in BSc (Hons) Reproductive Biology Programme and MBChB year 2 Endocrine Module. 

I give tutorials on essay writing. scientific paper reading and presentations in the Biomedical Sciences 2 and 3 courses, Reproductive Biology 3 course and BSc (Hons) Reproductive Biology Programme.  

I give the practical on male reproduction in the Reproductive Biology 3 course.

I mark exam scripts for the BSc (Hons) Reproductive Biology Programme, and essays/posters for various undergraduate courses. And I mark Honours and Mastares project dissertations. 

Administrative Roles

In the past I have been the Programme Director the MSc by Research in Reproductive Sciences Programme and I have been Deputy Course Organiser for the MBChB Medicine SSC2a course, Reproductive Systems and Reproductive Skills courses as part of the BSc (Hons) Reproductive Biology Programme.

I am exam board for the BSc (Hons) Reproductive Biology Programme and the MSc by Research in Reproductive Sciences Programme.

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