Recognizing the 2022 Sue Merigan Student Scholars

Arne Echterhof & Sarah Sackeyfio

Arne Echterhof and Sarah Sackeyfio (left-center and right-center), flanked by their mentors: Paul Bollyky, MD, D.Phil. (left) and Julie Parsonnet, MD (right).

May 31, 2023 – by Melanie Daniels

Arne Echterhof, a visiting student researcher from Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany, and Sarah Sackeyfio, an undergraduate student at Stanford, were awarded the 2022 Sue Merigan Student Scholarship Awards and have been busily working on their Infectious Diseases research projects.

Thomas C. Merigan, MD, Professor Emeritus of Infectious Diseases, is one of the world’s eminent virologists. In addition to pioneering research of interferon, his work produced novel treatments for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, and herpes viruses. Tom and Sue Merigan established the Sue Merigan Student Scholarship Awards to encourage undergraduates, medical students, postdoctoral fellows, and other trainees to pursue a career in infectious diseases research. Candidates are nominated by their faculty mentors and chosen by a committee of Infectious Diseases faculty, and awardees are provided up to $45,000 in support of their research.

We hope you will join the Stanford Department of Medicine in congratulating the awardees.

Meet the Scholars and their Research

Arne Echterhof

Mentor: Paul Bollyky, MD, DPhil

Arne is a visiting MD student in the Bollyky Lab where he is studying how bacteriophages (viruses that infect bacteria) circulate within the body and their role in treating bacterial infections. In partnership with colleagues in the Department of Radiology, his Merigan Scholar-funded study of bacteriophage pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics will enable more effective delivery of bacteriophage therapy. 

Sarah Sackeyfio

Mentor: Julie Parsonnet, MD

Sarah is working in the Parsonnet Lab to study how variability in infant immunity relates to skin care practices such as bathing and moisturizing. It is hypothesized that this variability may play a role in later development of asthma and food allergy. With her funding as a Merigan Scholar, Ms. Sackeyfio is currently helping to develop a questionnaire to measure skin care of infants and toddlers as well as how best to distribute this questionnaire to a diverse population of parents in the United States. Ultimately, this research may help determine whether certain skin care practices lead to alterations in skin integrity, immunity, or allergy.

The Merigans on Recognizing Research at Stanford

Watch this video to hear Tom and Sue Merigan discuss what drives their philanthropy and their commitment to supporting and inspiring infectious diseases research at Stanford.