Herbert Waldmann was born in Neuwied, Germany and studied chemistry at the University of Mainz where he received his PhD in organic chemistry in 1985 under the guidance of Horst Kunz. After a postdoctoral appointment with George Whitesides at Harvard University, he completed his habilitation at the University of Mainz in 1991. In 1999 he was appointed Director at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology Dortmund and Professor of Organic Chemistry at the University of Dortmund. His research interests lie in the syntheses of signal transduction modulators and the syntheses of natural product inspired compound libraries and their biological evaluation.
He has been the recipient of the Friedrich Weygand Award for the advancement of peptide chemistry, of the Carl Duisberg Award of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker, the Otto-Bayer-Award, the Steinhofer Award of the Steinhofer Foundation, the Max Bergmann Medal, the GSK Award on Chemical Biology, the Hans-Herloff Inhoffen-Medal, the Emil-Fischer-Medal, he is a Member of „Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina, Halle/Saale“, of the NRW Akademie der Wissenschaft und der Künste and since 2005 he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. In 2014 he received the Honorary Doctorate (Dr. h. c.) bestowed by Leiden University, NL.