October 30, 1906–March 18, 1989
BY LEWIS H. SARETT AND CLYDE ROCHE
MAX TISHLER WAS AN ILLUSTRIOUS SCIENTIST, a chemist, who— unlike most of his Harvard associates—elected to join the ranks of industry. After a thirty-two-year career of remarkable scientific productivity and leadership at Merck & Co., Inc., the world's largest prescription drug company, he returned to academe. As professor of chemistry at Wesleyan University in Connecticut he carved out yet another distinguished career.
At Merck he led research teams whose work was of enormous importance for human health, resulting in practical processes for synthesizing ascorbic acid, riboflavin, cortisone, miamin, pyridoxin, pantothenic acid, nicotinamide, methionine, threonine, and tryptophan. He also led a microbiological group that developed fermentation processes for actinomycin D, vitamin B12, streptomycin, and penicillin. In addition, his invention of the animal-health drug sulfaquinoxaline, the first coccidiostat, made possible a great expansion of the poultry industry and created overnight a new field for research—an event of great magnitude for agriculture.
As a result of such leadership Tishler in 1957 became the first president of the Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories Division of Merck & Co., Inc. In 1987 when Presi-