The School of Arts & Sciences

Department of Natural Sciences

Sima Tokajian

Dr. Sima Tokajian is a professor of biology in the Department of Natural Sciences. She joined LAU in 2005 as a full-time assistant professor of Microbial Genomics. In 2012, she was promoted to the rank of associate professor and is currently the chair of the Department of Natural Sciences.

Dr. Tokajian is a dedicated, versatile professional with proven experience in teaching and research in Microbial Genomics. The lab she oversees was certified to join the European Laboratory Network for Sequence-Based Typing of Methicillin-Resistant S. aureus, becoming the only partner from outside Europe. She has a strong interest in bacterial pathogenesis, and excels at providing leadership and insight to graduate students on various research projects. Her work is focused on using whole genome sequencing (WGS) for the characterization of pathogenic bacteria, and typing of medically important organisms and correlating that to the epidemiology of infectious diseases. Research in her lab involves an interdisciplinary approach using microbial genomics, cellular microbiology, and bioinformatics to understand microbial pathogenesis.

Dr. Tokajian has been at the lead of efforts to apply high-throughput sequencing to problems in microbial pathogenesis and antimicrobial resistance. Her research interests have included: microbial pathogenomics, genomic epidemiology of bacterial pathogens, detection of virulence determinants, studying antimicrobial resistance patterns, typing and identifying plasmids, determine SNP-based clonal relatedness, and tracking transmission and evolution of local drug-resistant outbreaks. She is currently targeting the in-depth genomic analysis of antibiotic-resistant bacteria (Enterococcus faeciumStaphylococcus aureusKlebsiella pneumoniaeAcinetobacter baumanniiPseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterobacter spp.), which are acronymically labeled as ‘the ESKAPE pathogens’.


Primary author/corresponding author

  1. Salloum, T., Tannous, E., Alousi, S., Arabaghian, H., Rafei, R., Monzer, M., Tokajian, S. 2018. Genomic Mapping of ST85 blaNDM-1 and blaOXA-94 producing Acinetobacter baumannii Isolates from Syrian Civil War Victims. Int J Infect Dis doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2018.07.017
  2. Salloum, T., Nassour, E., Araj, G., Abboud, E., Tokajian S. 2018. Insights into the genome diversity and virulence of two clinical isolates of Burkholderia cenocepacia. J Med Microbiol doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.000759
  3. Alousi, S., Salloum, T., Arabaghian, H., Matar, GM., Araj, G., Tokajian, S. 2018.  Genomic Characterization of MDR Escherichia coli Harboring blaOXA-48 on the IncL/M-type Plasmid Isolated from Blood Stream Infection. Biomed Res Inter
  4. Salloum, T., Tannous, E., Merheb-Ghoussoub, S., Ghoussoub, E., Tokajian, S. 2018. Genome Analysis of a MDR Streptococcus pneumoniae 23F Serotype Causing Meningoencephalitis in a 10-months Refugee Infant.  J Infect Dis Dev Ctries.12: 196-203.
  5. Bitar, I., Dagher, C., Salloum, T., Araj, G., Tokajian, S. 2018 First report of an Escherichia coli from Lebanon carrying an OXA-181-carbapenemase Resistance Determinant. J Glob Antimicrob Res. 12:113-114.
  6. Dagher, C., Salloum, T., Alousi, S., Arabaghian, H., Araj, G., Tokajian, S. 2018. Molecular characterization of Carbapenem resistant Escherichia coli recovered from a tertiary hospital in Lebanon. PLoS One.
  7. Zaki N.A., Salloum, T., Osman, M., Rafei, R., Hamze, M., Tokajian, S. 2017. Typing and comparative genome analysis of Brucella melitensis isolated from Lebanon. FEMS Microbiol Lett. 364, fnx199.
  8. Salloum T., Arabaghian H., Alousi S., Abboud E., Tokajian S. 2017. Genome sequencing and comparative analysis of an NDM-1-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae ST15 isolated from a refugee patient. Pathog Glob Health. 11:1-10. doi: 10.1080/20477724.2017.1314069.
  9. Tokajian, S., Salloum, T., Eisen, J., Jospin, G., Farra, A., Mokhbat, J., Coil, D. 2017. Genomic and Functional Attributes of Extended-Spectrum β-lactamase-Producing Extra-Intestinal Escherichia coli Isolated from Patients in Lebanon. Future Microbiol. 12: 213-226.
  10. Ibrahim, J., Khazen, G., Eisen, J., Jospin, G., Coil, D., Tokajian, S. 2016. Genome-wide Analysis of Streptococcus pyogenes Associated with Pharyngitis and Skin Infections. PLoS ONE. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0168177.
  11. Salloum, T., Khalifeh, I., Tokajian, S. 2016. Detection, molecular typing and phylogenetic analysis of Leishmania isolated from cases of leishmaniasis among Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Parasite Epidemiol Control. 1: 159-168.
  12. Harastani, H., Tokajian, S. 2014. Community-Associated Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Clonal Complex 80 Type IV (CC80-MRSA-IV) Isolated from the Middle East: A Heterogeneous Expanding Clonal Lineage. PLoS ONE. 9: 3103715.
  13. Karaky, N., Araj, G., and Tokajian, S. 2014. Molecular characterization of streptococcus pygenes Group A isolated from a tertiary hospital in Lebanon. J Med Microbiol. 63: 1197-1204
  14. Bazzoun, D., Harastani, H., Shehabi, A., Tokajian, S. 2014.  Molecular typing of Staphylococcus aureus collected from a Major Hospital in Amman, Jordan. J Infect Dis Dev Ctries. 8:441-447.
  15. Harastani, H., Araj, G., Tokajian, S. 2014. Molecular characteristics of Staphylococcus aureus isolated from a major hospital in Lebanon. Int J Infect Dis. 19:33-38.
  16. Bitar, I., Khalaf, R., Harastani, H., and Tokajian, S. 2014. Identification, Typing, Antifungal Resistance Profile, and Biofilm Formation of Candida albicans Isolates from Lebanese Hospital Patients. BioMed Res Int. 10.1155/2014/931372.

Primary author/first & corresponding author

  1. Tokajian, S., Eisen, J., Jospin, G., Hamze, M., Rafei, R., Salloum, T., Ibrahim, J., Coil, D. 2016. Draft Genome Sequences of Acinetobacter baumannii Strains Harboring the blaNDM-Gene Isolated in Lebanon from Civilians Wounded during the Syrian Civil War. Genome A.  4:e01678-15;doi:10.1128/genomeA.01678-15.
  2. Tokajian, S., Eisen, J., Jospin, G., Matar, G., Araj, G., Coil, D. 2016. Draft Genome Sequence of Klebsiella pneumoniae KGM-IMP216 HarboringblaCTX-M-15blaDHA-1blaTEM-1BblaNDM-1blaSHV-28, and blaOXA-1, Isolated from a Patient in Lebanon. Genome A. 4:e01632-15; doi:10.1128/genomeA.01632-15
  3. Tokajian, S., Issa, N., Salloum, T., Ibrahim, J., and Farah, M. 2016. 16S-23S rRNA Gene Intergenic Spacer Region Variability Helps Resolve Closely Related Sphingomonads. Front Microbiol. 7:149.
  4. Tokajian, S., Eisen, J., Jospin, G., Farra, A., and Coil, D. 2015. Whole Genome Sequencing of Extended-Spectrum β-lactamase Producing Klebsiella pneumoniae Isolated from a Patient in Lebanon. Front Cell Infect Mi. | doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2015.00032
  5. Tokajian, S. 2014. New epidemiology of Staphylococcus aureus infections in the Middle East. Clin Microbiol Infec. 20: 624–628
  6. Tokajian, S., Eisen, J., Jospin,G., and Coil, D. 2014. Draft Genome Sequences of Streptococcus pyogenes Strains, a Human Pathogen Associated with Throat and Skin Infections in Lebanon. Genome A. 2: e00358-14.
  7. Tokajian, S., Eisen, J., Jospin,G., Farra, A. and Coil, D. 2014. Draft Genome Sequences of Extended-Spectrum-β-Lactamase-Producing Escherchia coli Strains Isolated from Patients in Lebanon. Genome A. 2: e00121-14.
  8. Tokajian, S., Eisen, J., Jospin,G., Farra, A. and Coil, D. 2014. Draft Genome Sequence of Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamase Producing Klebsiella pneumoniae Isolated from a Patient in Lebanon. Genome A. 2: e00123-14.
  9. Tokajian, S., Timani, R., Issa, N. and Araj, G. 2012. Molecular Characterization, Multiple Drug resistance, and Virulence Determinants of Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolated from Lebanon. Brit Microbiol Res J. 2: 243-250.
  10. Tokajian, S. 2012. Molecular Typing of Staphylococcus aureus: Understanding and Controlling Epidemic Spread. J Forens Res. 3: 1000e104.

Primary/first author

  1. Tokajian S., Moghnieh R., Salloum T., Arabaghian H., Alousi S., Moussa J., Abboud E., Youssef S., Husni R. 2018. Extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli in wastewaters and refugee camp in Lebanon. Future Microbiol. 13: 81-95.


  1. Stegger, M., Wirth, T., Andersen, P., Skov, R., De Grassi, A., Simões, P., Tristan, A., Petersen, A., Aziz, M., Kiil, K., Cirkovi, I., Udo, E., del Campo, R., Vuopio-Varkila, N., Tokajian, S., Peters, G., Schaumburg, F., Olsson-Liljequist, B., Givskov, M., Driebe, E., Vigh, H., Shittu, A., Ramdani-Bougessa, R., Rasigade, J., Price, L., Vandenesch, F., Larsen, A.  and Laurent, F. 2014. Sub-Saharan Origin of the European Community-Acquired Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus. mBio doi: 10.1128/mBio.01044-14
  2. Salem, C., Azar, D., Tokajian, S. 2018. An Image processing and genetic algorithm-based approach for the detection of melanoma in patients. Method Infrom Med. 57:74-80. doi: 10.3412/ME17-01-0061.
  3. Alkharsah, K., Suriya, R., Alnimr, A., Diab, A., Hawwari, A., and Tokajian, S. 2018. Molecular Typing of MRSA Isolates by spa and PFGE. J. King Saudi Uni.

Academic degrees

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