Hikmet Geckil is a Turkish academic who received PhD degree in Molecular Biology (with Benjamin C. Stark) at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT.) A postdoctoral study (1999-2000) at Ben Gurion University and the Fulbright Fellowship (2009-2010) at the HST of Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are among his science endeavors. 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 Genetic Engineering 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 Biyokimya, the Turkish translated version of "Instant Notes in Biochemistry" by David Hames and Nigel Hooper. He has served on the editorial board of several international scientific journals, including the Biotechnology Journal (Wiley) and the Turkish Journal of Biology (TUBITAK).
He is 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 is 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.
Grubumuz biyokimya, genetik ve moleküler biyoloji tekniklerini kullanarak içinde bulunduğumuz bir araştırmacı grubu tarafından keşfedilen ve ilk prokaryotik hemoglobin olan Vitreoscilla hemoglobin geninin klonlanması, ilgili proteinin işlevi ve metabolik mühendislikteki potansiyel kullanımını çalışmaktadır. Araştırmamızın amacı, oksijen taşıyan böyle bir proteinin doğal konakçısındaki işlevini aydınlatmak ve genleri oksijenle regüle olan endüstriyel öneme sahip birçok ürünün üretiminde bir metabolik modülatör olarak kullanılabilecek bu proteinin potansiyelini ortaya koymaktır. Kanser kemoterapisinde kullanılan bir enzim olan "asparaginaz", Alzheimer's ve Parkinson hastalıklarında kullanılan ilaçlar olan "dopa" and "dopamin" bu ürünlerin başlıcalarıdır. Laboratuarımızın yeni çabalarından biri, tüm kanserlerin 10 ana belirtecinden biri sayılan ve Warburg etkisi olarak da bilinen "aerobik glikoliz"de mTOR sinyal kompleksinin rolünü anlamaktır.