Collage Created by Ed Supovitz
Max Tishler

American Jewish Inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame

Max Tishler: Inducted into
the National Inventors Hall
of Fame-1982

by Seymour “Sy” Brody

Max Tishler was an American Jewish inductee into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, in 1982, for the development of Alloxazines and Isoalloxazines processes; 2-Sulphanilamido-quinoxaline vitamins. Patent Numbers: 2,261,608 and 2,404,199.

He was born on October 30, 1906, in Boson, Massachusetts. He was the fifth of six children. When he was five years old, his father abandoned his family. Tishler started working as a very young man to help support the family. When he was twelve, he delivered prescriptions for a pharmacy. There was a flu epidemic at the time and he was appalled at the sickness and poverty.

Tishler received a B.S. degree in chemistry at Tufts University, in1928. He then went to Harvard where he earned a doctorate in chemistry, in 1934. He stayed at Harvard as an instructor until he joined Merck Laboratories, in 1937.

He was a pharmaceutical scientist who developed many drugs to treat arthritis and many other diseases. Some of his accomplishments were the production of vaccines to control livestock and poultry diseases, a commercial process to manufacture Vitamin B6, Vitamin K, Vitamin E, penicillin and cortisone. He also developed drugs for many diseases.

He was listed as the inventor on more than 100 United States patents and he published many scientific articles.

Tishler received the Board of Directors’ Scientific Award of Merck and Company for his achievements. He used the award money to establish the Max Tishler Visiting Lectureship at Harvard University and the Max Tishler Visiting Lectureship at Tufts University.

Tishler became the vice president of scientific activities at Merck, in 1954 and in 1956, he became the President of Merck Laboratories. He retired from Merck in 1970 and he accepted the position of a professor of Chemistry at Weselyan University, in Middletown, Connecticut. He was the chairman of the chemistry department, 1973-1974 and he was named a professor of the sciences emeritus, in 1975.

He received many awards and honors in recognition of his accomplishments:
■ Inducted into the National Academy of Sciences, 1953
■ Industrial Research Institute Medal, 1961
■ Chemical Industry Award of the American Section of the Society of Chemical Industry, 1963
■ Chemical Pioneer Award, 1968
■ Gold Medal Award from the American Institute of Chemistry, 1968
■ Priestly Award, (the highest award from the American Chemical Society), 1970
■ National Medal of Science, 1987
■ Nine Honorary doctorate degrees

Max Tishler was married to Elizabeth and they had two sons. He died on March 18, 1989, in Middletown, Connecticut.

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