Concise Encyclopedia of Tufts History

Sauer, Anne

Branco, Jessica

Bennett, John

Crowley, Zachary


Tishler, Max, 1907-1989


Max Tishler (1907-89), A1928, H1956, has been called Tufts' most illustrious chemistry graduate. He was a professor of chemistry at Wesleyan University and director of research at Merck & Company.

Born in Boston in 1907, his pharmaceutical career began when, as a child, he was an errand boy for the neighborhood pharmacy and was exposed to the suffering and death that occurred in the 1919 influenza epidemic. While a pre-med student at Tufts, he continued working in a pharmacy, earning certification as a pharmacist. This interest changed his focus to chemistry. He went on from Tufts to earn master's and doctoral degrees from Harvard in 1932 and 1934, and was recruited by George W. Merck in 1937. At Merck he worked to isolate and then synthesize vitamins B2, B6, K1, and E and led the team that made penicillin production a reality. He also directed the development of drugs for heart disease, hypertension, depression, and rheumatoid arthritis.

When he retired from Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories in 1970 as vice president for research, he was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and had received numerous honors and awards. He joined Wesleyan University "to teach, to become involved with students, and to continue to reflect and speak and write about sciences, social issues, and national policy." He wrote and published more than 100 papers and was granted well over 100 U.S. patents. As an emeritus professor, he was elected to the U.S. Commerce Department's Inventors' Hall of Fame and received the National Medal of Science.

He became a trustee of Tufts in 1950 and was elected a life trustee in 1965. He contributed to the Lillian and Joseph Leibner Award for excellence in teaching and advising of students. From his time as life trustee and trustee emeritus he is fondly remembered for his characteristic urge to reflect and speak and write. He said that at Tufts he "was taught both the joy of scholarly pursuits and what it means to be a warm human being and a good citizen."

Max Tishler died March 18, 1989, at the age of eighty-two.

Source: 100H

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  • The encyclopedia seeks to capture more than 150 years of Tufts' achievements, societal contributions and outstanding alumni and faculty in concise entries. As a source of accurate factual information, the Encyclopedia can be used by anyone interested in the history of Tufts and of the people who have made it the unique institution it is.
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Numeric Entries
Dame, Lorin Low, 1838-1903
Dana, Charles A., 1881-1975
Dana Laboratory, 1963
Daniel Ounjian Prize in Economics,
Davies, Caroline Stodder, 1864-1939
Davies House, 1894
De Florez Prize in Human Engineering, 1964
de Pacheco, Kaye MacKinnon, ca. 1910-ca. 1985
Dean Hall, 1887-1963
Dean, Oliver, 1783-1871
Dearborn, Heman Allen, 1831-1897
Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, 1893
Department of Anesthesia, 1970
Department of Art and Art History, 1930
Department of Biochemistry, 1893
Department of Chemistry, 1882
Department of Community Health, 1930
Department of Dermatology, 1897
The Department of Economics, 1946
Department of Medicine, 1893
Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Department of Neurology, 1893
Department of Neuroscience, 1983
Department of Neurosurgery, 1951
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 1893
Department of Ophthamology, 1893
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, 1906
Department of Otolaryngology, 1895
Department of Pathology, 1893
Department of Pediatrics, 1930
Department of Pharmacology, 1915
Department of Physics and Astronomy, 1854
Department of Physiology, 1893
Department of Psychiatry, 1928
Department of Radiation Oncology, 1968
Department of Radiology, 1915
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1955
Department of Surgery, 1893
Department of Urban and Environmental Policy, 1973
Department of Urology, 1910
Dental Health Sciences Building, 1969
Dewick, Cora Alma (Polk), 1875-1977
Dewick/MacPhie Dining Hall, 1959
Dickson Professorship of English and American History, 1913
Dirlam, Arland A., 1905-1979
Dog Cart, 1900
Dolbear, Amos Emerson, 1837-1910
Donald A. Cowdery Memorial Scholarship, 1946
Dr. Benjamin Andrews Professorship of Surgery, 1987
Dr. Philip E. A. Sheridan Prize, 1977
The Drug Bust, 1970
Dudley, Henry Watson, 1831-1906
Dugger, Edward Jr., 1919-75
Durkee, Frank W., 1861-1939
Durkee, Henrietta Noble Brown, 1871-1946
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