Laukien Prize Winners Announced at ENC 2019


The Gunther Laukien Prize is awarded annually at the Experimental NMR Conference (ENC) to recognize cutting-edge NMR research which shows a high probability of enabling new applications.

This year's 2019 Prize was awarded to Christian Griesinger and Geoffrey Bodenhausen.

Professor Geoffrey Bodenhausen, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris

Professor Geoffrey Bodenhausen

Geoffrey Bodenhausen was born in 1951 in The Hague, Netherlands, and moved in 1963 to Geneva, Switzerland. He studied chemistry at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule in Zurich (ETH-Z), Switzerland, graduating in 1974. His Diploma thesis was supervised by Richard Ernst and was concerned with Overhauser effects, exploring possible consequences of multiple-frequency continuous-wave saturation. In 1977 he completed the requirements for a D.Phil. under the guidance of Ray Freeman at Oxford University, England, by contributing to pulsed selective irradiation ("DANTE"), the effects of strong coupling in J-spectroscopy ("Son of Laocoon"), phase cycles ("Exorcycle"), and heteronuclear correlation methods that lead to the invention of the famous INEPT sequence by Morris and Freeman.

In 1978 he developed spectral density mapping using multiple-quantum deuterium spectroscopy of solutes in liquid crystals with Regitze and Robert Vold at the University of California at San Diego. In 1979 he was appointed by Leo Neuringer to develop solution-state NMR at the Francis Bitter National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at MIT, where developed "HSQC" with David Ruben, and discovered solid-state NMR with Bob Griffin.

In 1980, he moved back to ETH-Z  for five years in the group of Richard Ernst where he worked on spy relaxation, accordion spectroscopy, relayed magnetization transfer, product operators, coherence transfer selection rules, phase-cycles, etc. In 1985 he was appointed as associate professor at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, where he directed the institute of organic chemistry while exploring two-dimensional Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (2D FT ICR), developed broadband spectroscopy with frequency-modulated "chirp" pulses, pattern recognition methods for the automated interpretation of correlation spectra, relaxation-allowed coherence transfer, transient Bloch-Siegert effects, etc.

In 1994 he moved to Tallahassee, Florida, and became Director of the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Program at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, while teaching at Florida State University. During this period his research focused on 131Xe in the gas phase, frequency-modulated cross-polarization, etc.

In 1996 he was appointed to a professorship at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris where he has helped to build a dedicated laboratory by recruiting a few highly skilled scientists whose interests range from internal protein dynamics and fast proton exchange to relaxometry and solid-state methods. In parallel, he took up a part-time appointment at the University of Lausanne, exploring nitrogen-14 spectroscopy in solids, in addition to cross-correlated relaxation and drug screening in liquids. From 2001 to 2016, his laboratory was attached to at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), while the emphasis of his research shifted to dynamic nuclear polarization of porous solids and metabolites in solution.

Geoffrey has received numerous awards among them a Scholarship of the Salter's Company, London (1976), a Prize awarded by the Association of Swiss Chemists (1983), the National Latsis Prize awarded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (1990), a honoris causa doctorate of the University of Stockholm (1993), became Fellow of the American Physical Society (1996) a Corresponding member of the Royal Academy of Sciences of the Netherlands (1997), received the Catalan-Sabatier Prize of the Royal Society of Chemistry of Spain (2006), became Fellow of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance (ISMAR) in 2008, and was decorated to become Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur in 2017.

Professor Christian Griesinger Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen

Professor Christian Griesinger

Christian Griesinger was born in Ulm, Germany and received his primary and secondary education there. During the period 1979-83 he was an undergraduate at the University of Frankfurt, where he majored in chemistry and physics. He received his prediploma in physics in 1982 and his diploma in chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Horst Kessler in 1984. From 1984-1986 he studied for his Ph.D. in Frankfurt graduating summa cum laude. Christian then moved to the ETH Zurich for his postdoctoral studies (1986-89) with Professor Richard Ernst.

During the following decade (1990-2000) Griesinger was Professor of Organic Chemistry at Frankfurt. Beginning in July 1999 he was appointed as a Director of the Department of NMR based Structural Biology at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, and in 2001 he became an Honorary Professor at the University of Göttingen.

Christian's research initiated with methods development in the field of solution state NMR. His diploma thesis described methods for correlating long range coupled protons and heteronuclei (the COLOC sequence). During his PhD he developed high-precision measurements for coupling constants (E.COSY) which allowed measurements of couplings smaller than the line width. His interest in the interplay of rotating frame NOEs and TOCSY effects lead to CLEAN-TOCSY as well as TOCSY-free ROESY experiments. and the first implementations of 3D spectroscopy (presented at the ENC 32 years ago).

In the 1990's he developed a series of pulse sequence for sensitivity enhancement which find applications in NMR of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs). Inspired by a lecture by Malcolm Levitt, he introduced cross correlated relaxation between remote nuclear pairs as a tool to measure structural parameters. During his PhD and postdoc, he worked with Arndt Müller on antamanide which had interesting dynamics in the prolines but also in peptide bonds. This laid the basis for work in collaboration with R. Brüschweiler, J. Meiler and W. Peti on protein dynamics based on residual dipolar couplings measured in multiple alignment media where the supra-τc window is accessible and testing protein/protein recognition mechanisms. In order to characterize kinetics in the supra-τc window down to 300 ns, he developed in collaboration with Donghan Lee high power relaxation dispersion methods.

His research in Göttingen included more applications i.e. membrane proteins such as VDAC and two-component systems with the goal of structure determination and understanding the function of these proteins. He also contributed to the use of anisotropic parameters (residual dipolar couplings, residual chemical shift anisotropy) to determine the relative and absolute configuration of small molecules in microgram quantities. He also characterized intrinsically disordered aggregating proteins such as α-synuclein in collaboration with M. Zweckstetter, M. Baldus and M. Blackledge. With the understanding of the structural biology of these proteins, he has recently ventured into disease modifying therapies of neurodegenerative diseases with a colleague from neuropathology, Armin Giese. Furthermore, he developed in collaboration with Teresa Carlomagno the INPHARMA method to characterize better the binding mode of small molecules recognizing their target proteins.