The GECKIL Genetic Engineering Laboratory

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Hikmet Geckil is a Turkish academic who received PhD degree in Molecular Biology (with Benjamin C. Stark) at IIT. His research is in the area of genetic engineering. His current affiliation is with the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Inonu University

Research in Geckil’s GE Laboratory is primarily based on the function of Vitreoscilla hemoglobin (VHb), the first prokaryotic hemoglobin. Using VHb, Geckil’s group engineered various bacteria for the purpose of producing industrially important products ranging from microbial fuels butanediol, acetoin to drugs used in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson disease (e.g., dopa, dopamine) and to asparaginase, an enzyme used in cancer chemotherapy. One of the recent endeavors of his laboratory is to understand the role of mTOR signal complex on the “aerobic glycolysis of cancer cells” also known as Warburg effect, one of the 10 hallmarks of all cancers.

Geckil has published in the areas of biochemistry, biomedicine, and biotechnology, and has over 30 peer-reviewed publications. He is the lead editor of the Moleküler Hücre Biyolojisi, the Turkish version of the highly acclaimed textbook Molecular Cell Biology by Harvey Lodish et al. He is also the editor of Biochemistry, the Turkish translated version of Instant Notes in Biochemistry by David Hames and Nigel Hooper. In 2009-2010, he carried out research at Harvard–MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology as a Fulbright Senior Research Associate. He has served on the editorial board of several international scientific journals, including the Biotechnology Journal and the Turkish Journal of Biology.

He was the founding director (2010-2012) of the Center for Gifted and Talented at Inonu University and the founding director of Inonu Children’s University (2010-2012), the founding member of European Children Universities. Dr. Geckil was also the founding chairman (2010-2013) of the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, the only department with fully English curricula at Inonu University. Nominated by TUBITAK (The Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey), in 2012 he represented Turkey in COMSTECH (OIC's Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation) as Chief Scientific Officer.

The GECKIL Genetic Engineering Laboratory