Karen Fleming


Karen Renee Gibson Fleming is a Professor of Biophysics at Johns Hopkins University. She investigates the energetics of transmembrane helix-helix interactions. Fleming was awarded the 2020 Protein Society Carl Brändén Award.

Karen G. Fleming
Born
Karen Renee Gibson
Alma materGeorgetown University
University of Notre Dame
Scientific career
InstitutionsJohns Hopkins University
ThesisExpression of dopamine beta-hydroxylase in drosophila Schneider 2 cells : evidence for a mechanism of membrane binding other than uncleaved signal peptide (1983)
WebsiteFleming Lab

Early life and education


Fleming grew up in a family of doctors and nurses, and decided to study medicine at university.[1] She eventually studied French and pre-medical studies at the University of Notre Dame.[2] She realised that she did not like blood, so moved into scientific research instead.[1] After graduating Fleming attended the Catholic University of the West, where she studied French language and culture, before moving to Washington, D.C. to work at the Embassy of Morocco.[2] Fleming missed scientific research, and decided to work toward a doctorate at Georgetown University.[1] Her PhD focussed on molecular biology and during her research she became increasingly interested in proteins.[1] Fleming was a postdoctoral researcher at Yale University, where she worked with Donald Engelman in the Department of Molecular Biophysics.[1] Here she investigated the interaction of transmembrane alpha helices.[1]

Research and career


In 2000 Fleming started her research laboratory at Johns Hopkins University.[1] She continued to study the interactions of transmembrane helices, as well as investigating beta barrels.[1][3] Her work on beta barrels allowed her research group to significantly increase the number of known membrane protein stabilities. She created a hydrophobicity scale to describe protein side-chains.[4] Fleming performed some of the first measurements of the thermodynamics of protein folding.[5][6] She developed a theoretical framework to describe the association of helices.[7] In 2010 Fleming served as President of the Gibbs Society of Biological Thermodynamics.[8] Fleming uses her understanding of protein interactions to monitor the maturation of human microorganisms.[9]

Academic service

Alongside her academic research, Fleming runs workshops on diversity and bias.[1][10] During the workshops she discusses social science literature on gender bias and discrimination.[11] The workshops evolved into workshops that cover confidence, the power of bystanders and positive actions that people can take to improve the research community.[1] She maintains the blog 'Inclusive Excellence' which discusses initiatives to empower women scientists.[12] Fleming was a founder of the Women of Hopkins exhibition, which profiled women members of faculty at Johns Hopkins University.[13] She serves as Co-Chair of the Homewood Campus of Johns Hopkins University Women Faculty Forum.

Awards and honours

Her awards and honours include:

Selected publications

  • Fleming, Karen G; Ackerman, Anne L; Engelman, Donald M (1997). "The effect of point mutations on the free energy of transmembrane α-helix dimerization". Journal of Molecular Biology. 272 (2): 266–275. doi:10.1006/jmbi.1997.1236. ISSN 0022-2836. PMID 9299353.
  • Moon, C. Preston Fleming, Karen G. Side-chain hydrophobicity scale derived from transmembrane protein folding into lipid bilayers. National Academy of Sciences. OCLC 811395678.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Miller, Christopher (2001-12-19). "Faculty of 1000 evaluation for Specificity in transmembrane helix-helix interactions can define a hierarchy of stability for sequence variants". doi:10.3410/f.1002684.29604. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

Fleming is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.[1]

References


  1. "Meet Karen Fleming". www.asbmb.org. Retrieved 2020-03-13.
  2. "Celebration of Science - College of Arts and Sciences - Texas Woman's University". twu.edu. Retrieved 2020-03-13.
  3. Miller, Chris (September 2018). "A mighty stream of membrane proteins". Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. 25 (9): 751–753. doi:10.1038/s41594-018-0121-x. ISSN 1545-9985. PMID 30150646.
  4. Moon, C. Preston Fleming, Karen G. Side-chain hydrophobicity scale derived from transmembrane protein folding into lipid bilayers. National Academy of Sciences. OCLC 811395678.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. "The Protein Society announces its 2020 award recipients". EurekAlert!. Retrieved 2020-03-13.
  6. Fleming, Karen G. (2014). "Energetics of membrane protein folding". Annual Review of Biophysics. 43: 233–255. doi:10.1146/annurev-biophys-051013-022926. ISSN 1936-1238. PMID 24895854.
  7. Medicine, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and; Studies, Division on Earth and Life; Technology, Board on Chemical Sciences and; Sciences, Board on Life; Round, Committee on Proposal Evaluation for Allocation of Supercomputing Time for the Study of Molecular Dynamics, Seventh (2016-10-31). Report of the Committee on Proposal Evaluation for Allocation of Supercomputing Time for the Study of Molecular Dynamics: Seventh Round. National Academies Press. ISBN 978-0-309-45176-5.
  8. "30th Gibbs Conference on Biothermodynamics" (PDF). Michigan State.
  9. "NSF Award Search: Award#1931211 - Periplasmic Chaperone Network Organization and Mechanism". www.nsf.gov. Retrieved 2020-03-13.
  10. oberlinreview.org https://oberlinreview.org/17213/news/off-the-cuff-karen-g-fleming-professor/?print=true. Retrieved 2020-03-13. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. "CIRTL & PROF-it Series: Inclusive Pedagogy workshop with Dr. Karen Fleming from JHU". myUMBC. 2018-03-01. Retrieved 2020-03-13.
  12. "Inclusive Excellence". Inclusive Excellence. Retrieved 2020-03-13.
  13. "The Women of Hopkins". the-women-of-hopkins. Retrieved 2020-03-13.
  14. "Overcoming Implicit Bias Discussion with Dr. Karen Fleming". johnshopkins.campuslabs.com. Retrieved 2020-03-13.
  15. "2015 Membrane Protein Folding Conference GRC". www.grc.org. Retrieved 2020-03-13.
  16. "Prof. Karen Fleming Wins 2016 Thomas E. Thompson Award". Biophysics. Retrieved 2020-03-13.
  17. "Karen Fleming wins Provost's Prize for Faculty Excellence in Diversity". Biophysics. Retrieved 2020-03-13.
  18. May 16, Hub staff report / Published; 2019 (2019-05-16). "Biophysicist Karen Fleming wins $50,000 Provost's Prize for Faculty Excellence in Diversity". The Hub. Retrieved 2020-03-13.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)