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Various Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Growing in the Vegetation of Turkey

The research conducted by Assistant Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy of Yeditepe University and Faculty Member of the Department of Pharmacognosy Prof. Dr. Hasan Kırmızıbekmez on the field of Pharmacognosy, continues in studies regarding the isolation of bioactive metabolites from various medicinal and aromatic plants growing in the vegetation of Turkey, structure determination, compound diagnosis and quantification in plant extracts and various biological activities. Prof. Dr. Kırmızıbekmez, who has brought in many new bioactive molecules of natural origin to the scientific world with his studies carried out to this day, contributed to the elucidation of the chemical content of some plants that have a folkloric use. 

Come and let's hear Dr. Kırmızıbekmez from his own words.

First, can we get to know you a little? Can you tell us about your educational Life?

I graduated from Hacettepe University Faculty of Pharmacy with as a salutatorian in 1997. I completed my master's degree in pharmacognosy at the same university in 1999 and my doctorate in 2002. in 2005, I received the title of associate professor in the field of Pharmacognosy and Pharmaceutical Botany. I have been working as a faculty member at the Faculty of Pharmacy of Yeditepe University since 2006. I was appointed to professorship in 2010.

What are the turning points of your career?

The first turning point of my career was the starting of my postgraduate education as an academician in the field of pharmacognosy after graduating from the faculty of pharmacy, and the second turning point was that my decision to start working in Yeditepe University after receiving the title of associate professor.

How many years have you been working at Yeditepe University? What was your reason for choosing Yeditepe University for an academic career?

I have been working at Yeditepe University for about 16 years. I can say that the reason for choosing Yeditepe is both the infrastructure facilities of the university and the value it gives to science and academicians.

“I believe that it is important to conduct interdisciplinary joint studies with scientists in other fields”

Do you have a life motto? Were there any principles that you set for yourself on the path that led you to success?

I am one of those who think that the most important secret of success is working hard. Specialization in a single area has become quite important in scientific research. In this direction, I believe that researchers should strive to be the best in their field of expertise, and it is important to conduct interdisciplinary collaborative work with scientists in other fields. My life motto is that the work done should be done in the best way possible. My principle in my work is to focus only on my own work in a disciplined and dedicated manner.

Have there been any areas other than your own that you think have contributed to you throughout your career? What feeds you? What are your hobbies?

I think that Nature has been an important contributor to me in my career process. Perhaps, due to the work I conduct, the excursions (scientific field work) we have done to collect plants, nature trips and especially nature photography are my key hobbies. In addition, I also like to play table tennis and football.


Were there any people who inspired you?

The person who has inspired me with both his scientific side and his kindness, who has put a lot of effort in starting my adventure of academic career and my arrival to the place where I am now is my doctoral thesis advisor Prof. Dr. İhsan Çalış. In addition, every person who has not changed their personal position and stance despite the many difficulties and negatives that they may experience, who has worked and struggled to contribute to the society that they have lived in have been my inspirations.

What helped you to receive the 2021 science award of the Turkish Pharmacists Association's Academy of Pharmacy?

The science award given by the Turkish Pharmacists Association's Academy of Pharmacy is an award that is given not for a special project, but because of the scientific research I have done so far and the contributions I have made to the profession of pharmacy. The Science Award of the Academy of Pharmacy is an award which is given annually since 2005 to scientists who, through their research and studies, have made significant contributions to the science of pharmacy at a universal level.

“Pharmacognosy is an enormous resource for the discovery of new drug molecules”

What was the reason for your choosing of the Department of Pharmacognosy?

Pharmacognosy is a branch of science that deals with pharmaceutical raw materials of natural origin. Medicinal plants have been used for the treatment of diseases for a very long time. In addition, natural resources, especially plants, are an enormous resource for the discovery of new drug molecules. I chose to work in the field of Pharmacognosy to contribute to the discovery of new, leading bioactive natural compounds that can be used to treat diseases.

What are your predictions about the future of your field of study?

Despite the fact that plants take the prevalance, microorganisms and marine creatures too, contain thousands of different, quite potent compounds that can be candidates for new drugs. Every day new compounds that show different activities are discovered. Therefore, I think that natural molecules will become much more important in the treatment of many chronic and degenerative diseases that are still not fully curable.

What would you recommend for young people who want to become researchers?

My humble suggestion to young people who want to move forward on this path is that they should set reasonable goals for themselves to achieve their dreams, work hard without giving up and move forward patiently.