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Dr. Jean Chmielewski

Dr. Jean Chmielewski

In our research program we develop small molecules, peptides and peptidomimetics for three general scientific goals: (1) Drug Discovery, (2) BioNanotechnology and (3) Cellular Delivery of Therapeutic Agents.

(1) Drug Discovery

Research in drug discovery centers on the identification of biologically active agents through either a rational design approach or from compound library screening and optimization. Current targets in this area are the protein-protein interactions of HIV enzymes and structural proteins; the protein-protein interactions and enzymes involved in Anthrax infectivity and toxicity; and the human ABC transporter P-glycoprotein – a membrane bound protein that is responsible for multidrug resistance in Cancer and limits the penetration of a wide range of therapies into the brain.

(2) BioNanotechnology

Our research efforts in bionanotechnology focus on the development of materials for biological applications, such as cell adhesion and wound healing. Projects include self-replicating peptides with a coiled-coil or collagen triple helix structure that are subject to environmental control; control of collagen triple helix and fibril formation; and the use of gold nanoparticles for biopolymer recognition, assembly and ligation.

(3) Cellular Delivery of Therapeutic Agents

Research in this area is centered on the development of scaffolds to allow delivery of therapeutics into specific cells. Cell penetrating polyproline and dendrimer scaffolds have promoted the facile entry of small molecules, biopolymers and gold nanorods into cells, whereas folate-conjugated hydrogel nanoparticles displayed specific toxicity for cancer cells displaying the folate receptor.


  • B.S., St. Joseph's University, 1983
  • Ph.D., Columbia University, 1988
  • NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, Rockefeller University and University of California, Berkeley, 1990


  • Graduate Student Mentoring Award, Purdue University, 2012
  • The Edward Leete Award, American Chemical Society, 2011
  • Charles Murphy Teaching Award, 2009
  • Elected Fellow, 2008
  • Woman of Purdue honoree by the Barbara Cook Chapter of Mortar Board, 2008
  • Arthur Kelly Undergraduate Teaching Award, 2006
  • Cope Scholar Award, 2003
  • Agnes Fay Morgan Research Award , 2001
  • Research Fellow, 1996


List of publications