Jean Chmielewski completed her Ph.D. in Bioorganic Chemistry with Ronald Breslow at Columbia University. She joined the labs of E. T. Kaiser of Rockefeller University and, subsequently, Peter Schultz of the University of California, Berkeley for NIH postdoctoral fellowships in Chemical Biology. After postdoctoral appointments, she was recruited to the faculty in the Chemistry Department of Purdue University in 1990 where she is now the AW Kramer Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and a faculty member in the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering.
Chmielewski has won numerous awards for her research, including the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award and the Edward Leete Award, both from the American Chemical Society, the Agnes Fay Morgan Research Award from Iota Sigma Pi, and the Vincent du Vigneaud Award from the American Peptide Society. She has also been honored many times for her teaching, including the Charles R. Murphy Award the highest teaching award of Purdue University, and for her efforts in diversity, including the Stanley C. Israel Award for Advancing Diversity from the American Chemical Society. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the Teaching Academy of Purdue University.
She was a pioneer in the development of peptide-based agents to disrupt protein-protein interactions, and her current research interests include the design of novel peptide biomaterials for regenerative medicine, the design of cationic polyproline antibiotics that target intracellular pathogenic bacteria, and the development of agents that modulate drug efflux transporters.