Peter Tishler

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Peter Verveer Tishler M.D. (born July 18, 1937) is a researcher in human genetics and orphan diseases, educator, and clinician especially in the areas of genetic diseases, including polycystic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Fabry disease, and the porphyrias.

Peter Tishler ca. 2002

Tishler was raised in New Jersey. His father, Max Tishler, was a senior research chemist and later president of Merck. Tishler attended public schools and Harvard College where he majored in Biochemical Sciences. He wrote his senior thesis on carboxypeptidase, in the lab of Dr. C.J. Fu at the Jimmy Fund, graduating cum laude in 1959.


Tishler attended Yale University School of Medicine. While at Yale, Tishler began his long association with the Thorndike Memorial Laboratory at Boston City Hospital. Dr. William B. Castle, discoverer of intrinsic factor, introduced him to Dr. Sidney H. Ingbar with whom Tishler began work on the metabolic actions of thyroid hormone. Another important mentor, Dr. Maxwell Finland contributed to Tishler’s scientific and clinical work. Tishler’s interest in genetics arose from his laboratory research in the study of thyroid function in patients with phenylketonuria.

At the Harvard Medical Service at Boston City Hospital in 1963, Finland and Ingbar encouraged Tishler to pursue his growing interest in medical genetics. During the Vietnam War, Tishler worked as a Public Health Service officer at the National Institutes of Health. He worked with Christian B. Anfinsen, Charles Epstein and Alan Schechter on the biochemistry of embryogenesis. Other mentors were Charles S. Davidson, Ronald A. Arky, and Norbert Frankel.

In the following years, Tishler continued his basic laboratory work, but also was concerned with genetics and medicine in the terms of population and epidemiology. Drs. Edward H. Kass and Frank Speizer guided his thinking about these issues. Tishler was also involved in familial studies of hypertension at one of the first community health centers in the nation, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center.

Selected publications[edit]

  • Linkage of serum leptin levels in families with sleep apnea. Int J Obes (Lond). 2005 Mar;29(3):260-7
  • Whole genome scan for obstructive sleep apnea and obesity in African-American families. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2004 Jun 15; 169(12):1314-21. Epub 2004 Apr 7.
  • Incidence of sleep-disordered breathing in an urban adult population: the relative importance of risk factors in the development of sleep-disordered breathing. JAMA. 2003 May 7;289(17):2230-7
  • The effect of therapeutic drugs and other pharmacologic agents on activity of porphobilinogen deaminase, the enzyme that is deficient in intermittent acute porphyria. Life Sci. 1999;65(2):207-1
  • Fetal alcohol effects in alcoholic veteran patients. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1998 Nov;22(8):1825-31
  • A prospective study of plasma homocyst(e)ine and risk of myocardial infarction in US physicians. JAMA. 1992 Aug 19;268(7):877-81
  • "The care of the patient": a living testimony to Francis Weld Peabody. Pharos Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Med Soc. 1992 Summer;55(3):32-6
  • Thoughts as I watched the Peabody Building fall, March 31, 1990. N Engl J Med. 1990 Oct 11;323(15):1074
  • Healthy female carriers of a gene for the Alport syndrome: importance for genetic counseling. Clin Genet. 1979 Oct;16(4):291-4
  • A family with coexistent von Recklinghausen's neurofibromatosis and von Hippel-Lindau's disease. Diseases possibly derived from a common gene. Neurology. 1975 Sep;25(9):840-4.
  • Phenylketonuria: therapeutic problems. Br Med J. 1969 Feb 22;1(5642):510
  • Effect of thyroxine administered in vitro and in vivo on the succinoxidase and malic dehydrogenase reactions of frog myocardium.Endocrinology. 1963 May;72:673-6

External links[edit]


Finland, Maxwell and Castle, William B., Eds. (1983) The Harvard Medical Unit at Boston City Hospital, Volume II. University of Virginia Press (for the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine).