Kisch, Bruno Zecharias

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KISCH, BRUNO ZECHARIAS (1890–1966), medical authority and Jewish scholar. Kisch was born in Prague, the son of Alexander *Kisch and brother of Guido *Kisch. He was one of the founders of the Juedisches Lehrhaus in Cologne and taught experimental medicine, physiology, and biochemistry at the university there until 1936, when he was forced to leave Nazi Germany. During that time, he made particular studies on reflexes and discovered the law of irradiation of autonomic reflex, proving that each reflex in the field of autonomic nerves influences the tone of the entire autonomic nervous system. Subsequently, he taught at Yale and Yeshiva universities in the United States.

Kisch combined interests in several fields. He published several books on the relationship of religion and science, including Naturwissenschaft und Weltanschauung (1931), Wege zum Glauben (1935), and Gottesglaube und Naturerkenntnis (1936). He was a well-known authority on medical science, his special fields being biochemistry, cardiology, and electron microscopy. He was a founder and president of the American College of Cardiology and contributed a great deal to the progress of medicine. He made significant contributions to the study of biochemistry and the study of enzymes and described the presence of procain-esterase in blood and tissues, and of the enzyme aminodehydrase in certain parts of the kidney. He also introduced a test for toxic goiter. Among his works on medicine is Electron Microscopy of the Cardiovascular System (1960). Kisch was also interested in Jewish numismatics, publishing "Shekel Medals and False Shekels" (in Historia Judaica, 3 (1941), 67–101) and Scales and Weights (1965). He wrote an autobiography, Wanderungen und Wandlungen (1966).


Reichert, in: American Journal of Cardiology, 18 (1966), 967; Proggendorf, Biographisch-Literarisches Handwoerterbuchs, 6 (1923–31), 1323; S.R. Kagan, Jewish Medicine (1952), 178.

[Alexander Tobias /

Suessmann Muntner]