Research Area

Hikmet Geçkil, Professor
Ph.D.'95 Illinois Institute of Technology
Postdoctoral experience:
  • Harvard University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Ben Gurion University
Education & Experience  GECKIL Genetic Engineering Laboratory   A Science Treat

Research 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.