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.