Hikmet Geçkil

imageHikmet Geckil is a Turkish academic who received PhD degree (with Benjamin C. Stark) in Molecular Biology 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 the GECKIL 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 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.

sealengHe 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.

CVs (NIH BiosketchSciENcvResumé)


Research Associate Harvard University (Scholarship: Fulbright, US Department of State)


Research Associate Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (Scholarship: Fulbright, US Department of State)


CHE (Israel) Postdoctoral Fellow at Ben Gurion University


PhD’95 Illinois Institute of Technology (Scholarship: Ministry of Education of Turkey)

HGlabResearch in my laboratory has a long standing interest in the function of Vitreoscilla hemoglobin (VHb), the first prokaryotic hemoglobin  discovered by a groupI have had the privilege of being a part of. The cloning of the VHB gene (vgb) in diverse organisms and its potential in metabolic engineering using a combination of techniques spanning biochemistry, genetics and molecular biology are the central themes of our study.

Our overreaching goal is to shed some light on the function of VHb in its native host and the use of this highly efficient metabolic modulator in production of some industrially important microbial products whose genes are regulated by oxygen. “Asparaginase”, an enzyme used in cancer chemotherapy and “dopa” and “dopamine”, drugs used in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson diseases, are the main products under investigation.

One of the recent endeavors of our 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.





P-29: Erenler SO and Geckil H.
Effect of Vitreoscilla Hemoglobin and Culture Conditions on Production of Bacterial l-Asparaginase, an Oncolytic Enzyme.
Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 2014,173,8,2140-2151


Issue Editors: Utkan Demirci (Harvard Üniversitesi) and Hikmet Geckil

P-28: Demirci U and Geckil H.
Editorial: Micro and nanofluidics – applications in biotechnology. 
Biotechnology Journal
 2011; 6(2): 131

P-27: Gurkan UA, Moon S, Geckil H, Xu F, Wang S, Lu TJ and Demirci U.
Miniaturized lensless imaging systems for cell and microorganism visualization in point-of-care testing. 
Biotechnology Journal
, 2011; 6(2): 138-149.

P-26: Geckil H, Xu F, Xiaohui Z, Moon S-J, Demirci U.
Engineering hydrogels as extracellular matrix mimics. 
, 2010; 5(3): 469-484.


Issue Editors: Hikmet Geckil and Pinar Calik (Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi)

P-25: Geckil H and Calik P.
Editorial: Biotech in Turkey. 
Biotechnology Journal
, 2009 4(7), 951.

P-24: Kurt AG , Aytan E, Ozer U, Ates B and Geckil H.
Production of L-DOPA and dopamine in bacteria bearing Vitreoscilla hemoglobin gene. 
Biotechnology Journal
2009 4(7), 1077-1088.

P-23: Aydin S, Karatas F and Geckil H.
Simultaneous Quantification of Acylated and Desacylated Ghrelin in Biological Fluids. 
Biomedical Chromatography
, 20008; 22(12): 1354-1359.

P-22: Aydin S, Geckil H, Kilic N, Erman F, Kilic SS and Yesilada O.
Is Ghrelin a Natural Anti-Microbial Agent? 
Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences
, 2008; 38(2): 187-187.

P-21: Aydin S, Geckil H, Karatas F, Donder E, Kumru S, Kavak EC, Colak R, Ozkan Y, Sahin I.
Milk and blood ghrelin level in diabetics. 
 2007; 23(11-12): 807-811.

P-20: Aydin S, Ozercan IH, Geckil H, Dagli F, Aydin S, Kumru S, Kiliç N, Sahin I, Ozercan MR.
Ghrelin is present in teeth. 
Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
, (2007); 40(3):368-372.

P-19: Aydin S, Geckil H, Karaoglu A, Elkiran ET.
Ghrelin: A novel peptide with therapeutic effect in certain cancers? 
Medical Hypotheses
, (2007); 69(5): 1157-1158.

P-18: Geckil H, Gencer S, Ates B, Ozer U, Uckun M, Yilmaz I.
Effect of Vitreoscilla hemoglobin on production of a chemotherapeutic enzyme, L-asparaginase, by Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Biotechnology Journal
, (2006); 1(2): 203-208.

P-17: Aydin S, Ozercan HI, Aydin S, Ozkan Y, Dagli F, Oguzoncul F, Geckil H.
Biological rhythm of saliva ghrelin in humans. 
Biological Rhythm Research
, (2006); 37(2): 169-177.

P-16: Aydin S, Geckil H, Zengin F, Ozercan HI, Karatas F, Aydin S, Balik DT, Ozkan Y, Dagli F, Celik V.
Ghrelin in plants: What is the function of an appetite hormone in plants? 
, (2006); 27(7): 1597-1602.

P-15: Kahraman H and Geckil H.
Degradation of benzene, toluene and xylene by Pseudomonas aeruginosa engineered with the Vitreoscilla hemoglobin gene. 
Engineering in Life Sciences
, (2005); 5(4): 363-368.

P-14: Geckil H, Ates B, Durmaz G, Erdogan S, Yilmaz I.
Antioxidant, free radical scavenginging and metal chelating characteristics of propolis. 
American Journal of Biochmemistry and Biotechnology
, 2005; 1(1): 27-31.

P-13: Geckil H, Ates B, Gencer S, Uckun M, and Yilmaz I.
Membrane permeabilization of Gram-negative bacteria with a potassium phosphate/hexane aqueous phase system for the release of L-asparaginase: an enzyme used in cancer therapy. 
Process Biochemistry
, 2005; 40(2): 573-579.

P-12: Geckil H, Barak Z, Chipman DM, Erenler SO, Webster DA and Stark BC.
Enhanced production of acetoin and butanediol in recombinant Enterobacter aerogenes carrying Vitreoscillahemoglobin gene.
Bioprocess and Biosystems Engineering
, 2004; 26(5): 325-330.

P-11: Geckil H, Arman A, Gencer G, Ates B and Yilmaz HR.
Vitreoscilla hemoglobin renders Enterobacter aerogenes highly susceptible to heavy metals. 
, 2004; 17(6): 715-723.

P-10: Geckil H, Gencer S and Uckun M. 
hemoglobin expressing Enterobacter aerogenes and Pseudomonas aeruginosa respond differently to carbon catabolite and oxygen repression for production of L-asparaginase: an enzyme used in cancer therapy. 
Enzyme and Microbial Technology
, 2004; 35(2-3): 182-189.

P-09: Ates B, Yilmaz I, Geckil H, Iraz M, Birincioglu M, Fiskin K.
Protective role of melatonin given either before ischemia or prior to reperfusion on intestinal ischemia-reperfusion damage.
Journal of Pineal Research
, 2004; 37(3): 149-152.

P-08: Geckil H and Gencer S.
Production of L-asparaginase in Enterobacter aerogenes expressing Vitreoscilla hemoglobin for efficient oxygen uptake. 
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
, 2004; 63(6): 691-697.

P-07: Erenler SO, Gencer S, Geckil H, Stark BC, and Webster DA.
Cloning and expression of the Vitreoscilla hemoglobin gene in Enterobacter aerogenes: effect on cell growth an oxygen uptake. 
Applied Biochemistry and Microbiology
, 2004; 40(3): 288-295.

P-06: Geckil H, Gencer S, Kahraman H, and Erenler SO.
Genetic engineering of Enterobacter aerogenes  with  Vitreoscilla hemoglobin gene: cell growth, survival, and antioxidant enzyme status under oxidative stress. 
Research in Microbiology
, 2003; 154(6): 425-431.

P-05: Munzuroglu *, Karatas F, and Geckil H.
The vitamin and selenium contents of apricot fruit of different varieties cultivated in different geographical regions. 
Food Chemistry
, 2003; 83(2): 205-212.

P-04: Munzuroglu O, Obek E, and Geckil H.
Effects of simulated acid rain on the pollen germination and pollen tube growth of apple (Malus sylvestris Miller cv. Golden). 
Acta Biologica Hungarica
, 2003; 54(1): 5-103.

P-03: Yurekli F, Geckil H, and Topcuoglu F.
The synthesis of indole-3-acetic acid by the industrially important white-rot fungus Lentinus sajor-caju under different culture conditions. 
Mycological Research
, 2003; 107(3): 305-309.

P-02: Munzuroglu O and Geckil H.
Effects of metals on seed germination, root elongation, coleoptile and hypocotyl growth in Triticum aestivum andCucumis sativus
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
, 2002; 43(2): 203-213.

P-01: Geckil H, Stark BC, and Webster DA.
Cell growth and oxygen uptake of Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are differently affected by the genetically engineered Vitreoscilla hemoglobin gene.
Journal of Biotechnology
, 2001; 85(1): 57-66.


Icen I, Celik V, Pelle R, Aytan E, Munzuroglu O, Geckil H.
Isolation, cloning and sequence analysis of gene encoding the lactate dehydrogenase enzyme from Theileria parva.
, 2011, 278, 329.

Celik V, Icen I, Pelle R, Kurt AG, Munzuroglu O, Geckil H.
A new candidate for antitheilerial target: isolation, cloning and sequence analysis of gene encoding the enolase enzyme from Theileria parva. 
, 2011, 278, 329.

Erenler S and Geckil H.
Cloning, isolation and expression of l-asparaginase gene (ansB) in different gram-negative bacteria expressingVitreoscilla hemoglobin. 
Current Opinion in Biotechnology
, 2011, 22, 118.

Celik V, Icen I, Pele P, Munzuroglu O, Geckil H.
Expression of gene encoding Theileria parva enolase in Escherichia coli JM103 strain. 
Current Opinion in Biotechnology
, 2011, 22, 89-90.

Ates B, Gencer S, Erenler SO, Uckun M, Ozer U, Yilmaz I, and Geckil H.
Production of L-asparaginase, a chemotherapeutic enzyme, in bacteria expressing Vitreoscilla haemoglobin. 
, (2006); 273: 139-139.

Kahraman H, Gencer S, Geckil H.
Effect of Vitreoscillaon L-lysine alpha-oxidase, a chemotherapeutic enzyme, from Pseudomonas aeruginosa. 
, (2006); 273: 139-140.

A-01: Aydin S, Geckil H, Caylak E and Kilic N (2004).
Mikroorganizmalarin kanser tedavisinde kullanimi. 
Firat Medical Journal
, 9(2): 30-34.
A-02: Kahraman H and Geckil H* (2005).
Benzoik Asitin Vitreoscilla hemoglobin geni aktarılmış Pseudomonasaeruginosa tarafından yıkımı.
Fen ve Muhendislik Bilimleri Dergisi, Firat Universitesi, 17(2); 342-48.
A-03: Geckil H (2005).
İki Emekli Bilim Adaminin Hikayesi: Genetige Karsi Biyokimya. 
Universite ve Toplum (University and Society)
, 5(3): 1-2.
A-04: Geckil H (2006).
Molekuler Yasam Bilimlerinde Ph.D. Derecesi Icin Standartlar (Uluslararasi Biyokimya ve Molekuler Biyoloji Birliği (IUBMB)’nin “Standarts for the Ph.D. Degree in the Molecular Biosciences” isimli orijinal calismasindan yapilmiş Turkce tercume).
This copyright free study has been published or publicized in:
A-05: Hikmet Geçkil. Genomlarla Eğlence: Mikoçiğner DNA Bulmacası (A translation of the original article: “Fun with genomes: the Mycomuncher DNA Puzzle“)
Science in School, 2007: 1(5); 28-31.
A-06: Hikmet Geçkil. Gözler Ufukta, ayaklar yerde: Tim Hunt’la söyleşi (A translation of the original article “Eyes on the horizon, feet on the ground: interview with Tim Hunt“)
Science in School, 2007: 1(6); 9-13.
A-07: Hikmet Geçkil. Romalılara ait yollar, tren istasyonları ve kontrolörler: RNA araştırmalarında son buluşlar (A translation of the original article “Of Roman roads, train yards and inspectors: recent discoveries in RNA research)
Science in School, 2007: 1(6); 20-24.
A-08: Aslı Giray Kurt ve Hikmet Geçkil. Proteini kristallere büyütme (A translation of the original article “Growing crystals from proteins“)
Science in School, 2009: 11; 30-36.
A-09: Emel Aytan ve Hikmet Geçkil. Folik asit: öğrenciler neden bu konuyu bilmeli? (A translation of the original article “Folic acid: why school students need to know about it“) Science in School, 2009: 13; 59-64.
A-10: Zeliha Türkoğlu ve Hikmet Geçkil. Okulda nanoteknoloji (A translation of the original article “Nanotechnology in school“)
Science in School, 2008: 10; 70-75.
A-11: Tuğçe Kaymaz ve Hikmet Geçkil. Mikrobik yakıt hücresi: mayadan elektrik üretimi. (A translation of the original article “The microbial fuel cell: electricity from yeast“) Science in School, 2010: 14; 32-35.
A-12: Canbolat Gürses ve Hikmet Geçkil. Omurilik hasarı: kök hücreler cevaba sahip mi? (A translation of the original article “Spinal cord injury: do stem cells have the answer?”). Science in School, 2013: 26; 38-43.
A-13: Samet Kocabay ve Hikmet Geçkil.  Ölümcül  proteinler: prionlar. (A translation of the original article “Deadly proteins: prions“). Science in School, 2010, 15: 50-54.
A-14: Tuğçe Kaymaz ve Hikmet Geçkil. Genetik planımızın ortaya çıkarılması. (A translation of the original article “Laying bare our genetic blueprint“). Science in School, 2013, 26; 20-24.
A-15: Selen Çolak ve Hikmet Geçkil. DNA’da Urasil: bir yanlışlık mı ya da sinyal mi? (A translation of the original article “Uracil in DNA: error or signal?”).  Science in School, 2011, 18; 27-31.
A-16: Yasemin Gökçek ve Hikmet Geçkil. Kalem ve kağıtla biyoinformatik:  filogenetik ağaç oluşturma. (A translation of the original article “Bioinformatics with pen and paper: building a phylogenetic tree“). Science in School, 2011, 18; 27-31.


  • Melatonin: Present and Future (by Pedro Montilla López, Pedro Montilla, Isaac Túnez, 2006, Nova Publishers
  • Functional Food Ingredients and Nutraceuticals: Processing and Technologies (by John Shi, Jerry W. King, 2006, Taylor & Francis)
  • Environmental Microbiology: Methods and Protocols. (by John F. T. Spencer, Alicia L. Ragout de Spencer, 2004, Springer)
  • Dictionary of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods (by Neason Akivah, Michael Eskin, Tamir Snait, Snait Tamir, 2006, CRC Press)
  • Aging and Age-related Diseases (by Michal Karasek, 2006, Nova Science Publishers)
  • Globins and other nitric oxide-reactive proteins (by Robert K. Poole, 2008, Academic Press)
  • Biosystems: Webster’s Facts and Phrases: (by Philip M. Parker, 2008, Icon Group International Inc.)
  • Mycorrhiza: State of the Art, Genetics and Molecular Biology, Eco-Function (by Ajit Varma, 2008, Springer-Verlag)
  • Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology (by David M. Whitacre, 2011, Springer)
  • Breeding for Fruit Quality (by Matthew A. Jenks, 2011, Wiley-Blackwell)
  • Advances in Microbial Physiology (by Robert K. Poole, 2011, Academic Press)
  • Ecoimmunology (by Gregory Demas and Randy Nelson, 2012, Oxford University Press)
  • Advances in Extracellular Space Research and Application (by Ashton Acton, 2011, Scholarly Editions)
  • Coherent Raman Scattering Microscopy (Ji-Xin Cheng et al., 2012, CRC Press)
  • Chitosan-Based Hydrogels: Functions and Applications (Fanglyian Yaoet al., 2012, CRC Press)
  • Dried Fruits: Phytochemicals and Health Effects (by Cesarettin Alasalvar and Fereidoon Shahidi, 2013, Wiley-Blachwell)
  • Fruit and Cereal Bioactives: Sources, Chemistry, and Applications (by Özlem Tokuşoğlu and Clifford A Hall III, 2011, CRC Press)
  • The Know-How of Face Transplantation (by Maria Z. Siemionow, 2011, Springer-Verlag)
  • Fruit Breeding (by Maria Luisa Badenes, 2012, Springer)
  • Bioactives in Fruit: Health Benefits and Functional Foods (by Margot Skinner and Denise Hunter, 2013, Wiley-Blackwell)
  • Bioprocessing Technologies in Biorefinery for Sustainable Production of Fuels, Chemicals and Polymers (by Shang-Tian Yang,Hesham El-Ensashy,Nuttha Thongchul, 2013, Wiley)
  • Food Analysis by HPLC (by Leo M. L. Nollet and Fidel Toldra, 2013, CRC Press)


  • Patent WO2006091094A2 – Hemoglobin overexpression in fungal fermentation
  • Patent US20110269200 – Increased Ethanol Production By Genetic Engineering Of Microorganisms 
  • Patent EP1841872A2 – Hemoglobin overexpression in fungal fermentations
  • Patent US20080193969 – Hemoglobin Overexpression in Fungal Fermentations 
  • Patent WO2006091094A3 – Hemoglobin overexpression in fungal fermentation

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