Dr. Tejas Bouklas is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at SUNY College at Old Westbury. She has a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and has done a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Medicine (Division of Infectious Diseases) at Stony Brook University. She has an extensive background in microbiology and infectious disease, with training and expertise in fungal pathogenesis. 


Dr. Bouklas investigates the persistence and resistance of fungal pathogens in immunocompromised hosts, and has helped established aging as a novel virulence factor in Cryptococcus neoformans, a pathogen that afflicts HIV+/AIDS patients. Her lab now takes a multidisciplinary approach to address the “newest bug on the block,” Candida auris, which is difficult to identify and multidrug-resistant. Dr. Bouklas’ work has been published in renowned journals, including mBio, PLOS Pathogens, and Cell Reports, and she has presented at several international forums, including the International Cryptococcosis, American Society of Microbiology, and the Society of Human and Animal Mycology meeting. 


Dr. Bouklas has taught Microbiology, Immunology, Anatomy and Physiology, Biology for Majors, and Mycology/Parasitology to undergraduate and graduate students, to whom she provides experiential learning and mentoring opportunities. Many of her students are historically underrepresented in the sciences, first-generation, females, and veterans. She is the recipient of several grants to support her research with students, who have themselves received awards, presented at national conferences, and co-authored papers. She is an American Society of Microbiology Undergraduate Faculty Research Initiative Fellow, and is committed to advancing infectious disease research, and training of the next generation of biomedical scientists.


Current Research

Guiding Questions for Research

  • Does the pathogen change in the host?
  • Does this have an effect on pathogenesis?
  • Does the host kill some pathogen cells preferentially?

Lab Philosophy

My philosophy is to embrace students in research.

Undergraduate and graduate students who join the lab acquire skill sets in:


  • Basic microbiology and microscopy
  • Molecular biology
  • Tissue culture
  • Antimicrobial research 
  • Simple model of infection 

Current Projects

  • Cryptococcus neoformans nutrient lifestyle
  • Pathogenesis of multidrug-resistant Candida auris
  • Role of aging in a novel Saccharomyces cerevisiae gene
  • Photoactivation-based fungal therapy 

FORMER LAB Members

Noora Alotaibi

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Noora is a graduate student pursuing her MS in Biomedical Sciences. In the lab, she investigates the role of a rapamycin-resistant gene in Saccharomyces in a collaboration with Dr. Marci Swede’s lab at LIU-Post. She has presented her work at Post and Beyond, Metropolitan Association of College and University Biologists, and Microsoft Women in STEM meeting. She is the recipient of Outstanding Graduate Student in Biomedical Sciences.

Zachary Cain

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Zack is an undergraduate pursuing his BS in Clinical Lab Sciences. In the lab, he investigates serial isolates of Cryptococcus neoformans. He was one of three students selected nationally to give a talk at the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions Conference, and has also presented at Post and Beyond, and Metropolitan Association of College and University Biologists Conference. He is the recipient of Outstanding Student in Clinical Lab Sciences.

Lindsey Masone

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Lindsey is an undergraduate pursuing her BS in Biomedical Technology. In the lab, she has undertaken projects on the pathogen, Candida auris, one of which is in collaboration with Dr. Daniel Hanley’s lab at LIU-Post. She is a first-author on a paper in the Journal of Fungi in a collaboration with Dr. Bettina Fries’ lab at Stony Brook University. She is the recipient of the American Society of Microbiology Undergraduate Research Fellowship, and Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Conference Student Travel Award, and has presented her work at Post and Beyond, Metropolitan Association of College and University Biologists, and Microsoft Women in STEM. 

Osayomore "Cece" Amayo

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Cece is an undergraduate pursuing her BS in Clinical Lab Sciences. She has served as a teaching assistant for Dr. Bouklas’ microbiology lab, and is now working on her Honors thesis on gram-negative bacteria using urinalysis.

Christopher Shaw

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Chris is an undergraduate pursuing his BS in Nutrition. In the lab, he investigates Cryptococcus neoformans and its response to nutritional stress. He has presented his work at Post and Beyond. He is the recipient of Outstanding Second Degree Nutrition and Dietetics Student.


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