The molecular mechanisms underlying formation of platelet thrombi constitute one of the central problems in vascular biology and medicine. Fibrinogen binding to its platelet integrin receptor alpha IIb beta 3 (glycoproteins IIb-IIIa complex) plays a pivotal role in formation of platelet thrombi by providing molecular bridges spanning platelets and by contributing to its receptor-mediated outside-in signaling. Conversely, fibrinogen binding to integrin alpha IIb beta 3 requires inside-out signaling mediated by intraplatelet signal transducers activated in response to external signals generated at the site of vascular injury. This tightly regulated fibrinogen-integrin alpha IIb beta 3 interaction constitutes a fundamental platelet mechanism of response to vascular injuries such as accidental and surgical wounds, rupture of atherosclerotic plaques in coronary and cerebral atherosclerosis and microvascular endothelial desquamation in septic shock. After mapping the fibrinogen site on the gamma chain responsible for recognition of platelet integrin alpha IIb beta 3 and the development of synthetic peptide inhibitors, we solved the 3D structure of the carboxy-terminal segment of the human fibrinogen gamma chain using our new technology of carrier protein-driven crystallization. Fundamental knowledge concerning a molecular 3D model of fibrinogen-integrin alpha IIb beta 3 interaction, coupled to the mechanism of its inside-out and outside-in regulation, will lead to development of a new generation of platelet-selective antithrombotic drugs.