Merle A. Sande, MD
Chair, Department of Internal Medicine, 1996-2001
Merle A. Sande, MD brought international recognition in infectious diseases to the University of Utah when he became Chair of Internal Medicine and the first holder of the Clarence M. and Ruth N. Birrer Presidential Endowed Chair in Internal Medicine in 1996.
Dr. Sande graduated from the University of Washington School of Medicine, completed residency at Cornell, and served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War. As a new faculty member at the University of Virginia he studied meningitis, endocarditis, and other bacterial diseases, and advanced to become Professor of Medicine and Vice Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine. Later, as Chief of Medical Services at San Francisco General Hospital and Vice Chair of Internal Medicine at University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Sande and others established a pioneering ward and clinic for AIDS patients, the first unit of its kind. His program provided the basis and structure for many clinical trials that shaped therapy for AIDS. He made multiple additional contributions to efforts to address the AIDS epidemic at local, national, and international levels, including establishment of a program in Uganda for clinical care, research, and training. Dr. Sande received many awards for his work and was a contributor and editor for major textbooks on infectious diseases and AIDS.
At the University of Utah, Dr. Sande carried on his work on AIDS and leadership in academic infectious diseases; implemented the hospitalist inpatient system; established a dedicated diabetes center; established a division of epidemiology; fostered translational research; and made major contributions to the Internal Medicine residency program. Twice he was selected outstanding teacher in the Department of Internal Medicine, emphasizing his commitment to graduate medical education.