Professor of Chemistry 1970-1987
The Max Tishler Undergraduate Research Stipend is awarded
to outstanding students in honor of Dr. Max Tishler.
Dr. Tishler joined the faculty of Wesleyan in 1970 upon
retirement from Merck & Co. as senior vice president of research and
development. At Merck, Dr. Tishler developed commercial production of
vitamin B12, as well as vitamins C, B6, D, E, and K1. He also was coauthor
of the first synthesis of hydrocortisone and the first isolation of
actinomycin D, which is used in the treatment of Wilms tumors. Through his
efforts, Merck mass-produced penicillin for use in World War II. Under his
leadership, Merck developed vaccines against measles, mumps, and German
measles, as well as drugs for heart disease, hypertension, rheumatoid
arthritis, and clinical depression. Dr. Tishler received the National Medal
of Science in 1987 for "his profound contributions to the nation's health
and for the impact of his research on the practice of chemistry."
He established the annual Peter A. Leermakers Symposium in 1972. Named Emeritus University Professor of the Sciences in 1975, he continued his daily office and laboratory routine until shortly before he died in 1989 from complications of emphysema. After his death, President Chase of Wesleyan said, " Max Tishler has been a mentor to countless younger scientists. He will be deeply missed."