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Meierhenrich arose in a family of teachers and professors. He studied chemistry at the Philipps-University Marburg and obtained a Ph.D. degree in Physical Chemistry at the University of Bremen by Thiemann. Meierhenrich became Post-doc at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Katlenburg-Lindau and at the French Synchrotron Center LURE. In 2003 Meierhenrich obtained the habilitation with the academic publication The Origin of Biomolecular Asymmetry at the University of Bremen. In 2005 he became professor at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis in France. In order to honour his work on chirality the Horst-Pracejus-Prize of the GDCh was given to Meierhenrich in 2011.
Meierhenrich's name is connected with the identification of amino acids in space. In preparation of the cometary Rosetta-Mission of ESA the so-called interstellar ice was simulated in the laboratory, in which 16 amino acids were identified. Further experiments at the French Soleil (synchrotron) let assume that life's homochirality also originated under interstellar conditions.
- Munoz Caro, Meierhenrich et al.: Amino acids from ultraviolet irradiation of interstellar ice analogues, Nature 416, S. 403 - 406, 2002. doi:10.1038/416403a
- Meierhenrich et al.: Identification of diamino acids in the Murchison meteorite, PNAS, 101, S. 9182 - 9186, 2004. doi:10.1073/pnas.0403043101
- Meierhenrich et al.: Asymmetric vacuum UV photolysis of the amino acid leucine in the solid state, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 44, S. 5630 - 5634, 2005. doi:10.1002/anie.200501311
- Meierhenrich: Amino acids and the asymmetry of life, Springer-Verlag, 2008. ISBN 978-3-540-76885-2
- Meierhenrich, Uwe (2014). Comets and Their Origin. Weinheim: Wiley-VCH. ISBN 978-3-527-41281-5.