Fabienne Birkle

Ph.D. Student
Mentor: Dr. James Morrissey

Areas of Interest

Blood clotting is a fundamental process in hemostasis and thrombosis. Initiation of the clotting cascade is catalyzed by a complex composed of the membrane protein tissue factor (TF) and the serine protease factor VIIa (FVIIa). The TF:FVIIa complex activates the zymogens, factor IX (FIX) and factor X (FX), propagating the cascade, which ultimately leads to the formation of a fibrin clot. Although blood clotting has been studied for decades, it remains unclear how protein-lipid and protein-protein interactions work together to regulate the initiation of the clotting cascade. The aim of my PhD project is to understand how interactions with the phospholipid membrane facilitate TF function and how TF participates in the recognition of FX and FIX. To achieve these goals, I use a combined approach of protein and lipid biochemistry, enzyme kinetics and solid state NMR.

Awards & Honors

Westcott Biosciences Fellowship in Biochemistry (2016-2017)

Published Articles

Calvino FR, Kornprobst M, Schermann G, Birkle F, Wild K, Tamas F, Hurt E, Ahmed YL, Sinning I: Structural basis for 5’-ETS recognition by Utp4 at the early stages of ribosome biogenesis. PLoS One 12:e0178752, 2017.