David E. Clemmer earned his B.S. in Chemistry with honors from Adams State College in 1987 and his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of Utah in 1992. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Himeji Institute of Technology in Japan and was a postdoctoral associate at Northwestern University before joining Indiana University as assistant professor in 1995. He was promoted to associate professor in 2000 and professor in 2001. He served for four years as Chairperson of the Department of Chemistry and has served since 2012 as Associate Dean of Natural and Mathematical Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Professor Clemmer is an "international star" and the "leading figure" in commercial and academic ion mobility spectrometry in the physical, analytical, and biological chemistry communities. He is the inventor and developer of Nested ion mobility/mass spectrometry instrumentation and methodology, and has applied these inventions toward pioneering research on the conformational structure of protein ions in the absence of solvent. His exceptionally creative work "blends his fundamental approach to understanding structure, stability, and reactivity in complex, low symmetry systems with an eye toward advanced measurement technologies." Clemmer's research has diverse applications in the life sciences and have been used to probe deeply into the proteome of plasma as a new dimension for imaging of tissues, to understand how post-translational modifications influence conformation, to assess structures of large protein complexes, and to understanding the fundamental characteristics of disease including neurodegenerative diseases. Clemmer's innovative technologies in the field of mass spectrometry, used by his own group and now adopted throughout the world, are highly original, and have had high impact in the field.
Clemmer has published over 190 widely cited articles and chapters, delivered over 225 presentations, and holds over 40 patents, including worldwide filings. He has given invited lectures in Germany, France, England, Korea, the Netherlands, and Japan. Professor Clemmer's research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, Lilly Endowment, Indiana 21st Century Fund, and several private foundations. He has received the NSF Early Career Award, the Finnegan Award and the Biemann Medal from the American Society for Mass Spectrometry, the American Chemistry Society's Findeis Award, Akron Award, and Chemical Instrumentation Awards, a Sloan Research Fellowship, Technology Review Magazine's research innovation award, Eli Lilly Analytical Chemistry Award, the NSF Special Creativity Award, and has been elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2000, he received the National Fresenius award - a singular honor given to the nation's preeminent chemist under the age of 35 and in 2002, he was named to Popular Science magazine's 10 Most Brilliant List. In recognition of his teaching, he has received the Outstanding Junior Faculty Award from IU, the Teaching Excellence Recognition Award, Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, and the Tracy M. Sonneborn Award. Professor Clemmer has directed fifteen dissertation committees and he currently collaborates in his laboratory with fourteen doctoral students and two undergraduates. He is the scientific co-founder of Beyond Genomics (now BG-Medicine), a systems biology company located in Boston that currently employs more than 50 scientists.
Clemmer received the IU Bicentennial Medal in September 2020 in recognition of his distinguished contributions to Indiana University.