John Eble was born in Madison, Wisconsin in 1951 and moved to Indianapolis, Indiana in 1960. He did his first year of university in the physics department of the City University in London, United Kingdom and then transferred to Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana and received his bachelor of science degree in medical sciences in 1973. John's first two years of medical school at Indiana University School of Medicine were at the Bloomington campus, during which time he also was a graduate student in the department of microbiology. His clinical years were at the Indianapolis campus and he was awarded his M.D. in 1976.
John began his residency in anatomic and clinical pathology in the Indiana University program on January 1, 1977. During his residency, he worked part-time collecting tissue samples and providing pathology data in the Laboratory for Experimental Oncology directed by biochemical pharmacologist George Weber, MD. It was in the course of this work that he first became interested in renal neoplasia.
Upon the completion of his residency in the summer of 1980, John joined the faculty of the Department of Pathology of Indiana University as an assistant professor. He was recruited to become the Chief, Laboratory Service at the Roudebush VA Medical Center and he took that role in 1982 after a year of mentoring by his chairman, Carleton D. Nordschow, M.D., Ph.D. In 1986, John enrolled in the Indiana University Graduate School of Business and 1990 was awarded his M.B.A. John remained the VA service chief until 2000. John continued his work with George Weber and was appointed Assistant Professor of Experimental Oncology. In 1985 he was promoted to Associate Professor of Pathology and of Experimental Oncology and to Professor in 1991. The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia made John an honorary fellow in 2001. While John began his career intending to pursue his interest in bacteriology, he was soon fascinated by urologic pathology.
In 1998, James W. Smith, MD retired as chairman of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and on April Fool's Day 1998 John was appointed Acting Chairman of the department. Whether or not Dean Holden saw any irony in this remains a mystery. Subsequently, in 1999, John was appointed Chairman of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. These appointments required John to reduce his activity at the VA and to assume the role of Chief Pathologist of Clarian Health. Clarian Health was formed in 1997 by the merger of Indiana University Hospital, Riley Children's Hospital and Methodist Hospital of Indiana. By 1998 the merger of the Indiana University pathologist group with the Methodist Hospital pathologist group was underway and its successful conclusion necessitated John's retirement from the VA in 2000. With his assumption of the chair of the department he was appointed the Nordschow Professor of Laboratory Medicine in 2000. Since 1998, Clarian Health has grown, and John is now the Chief
Pathologist for its 6 hospital laboratory system. In addition to his leadership activities, John currently signs out the urologic surgical pathology cases of Clarian Health one week a month.
While these events were developing, John used the rich clinical material of the VA Medical Center as a foundation upon which to study urologic pathology. He has published more than 175 peer-reviewed papers, more than 30 book chapters, and 3 books devoted to diseases of the organs of the urinary tract and male genital system. With Jonathan Epstein, Guido Sauter, and Isabell Sesterhenn, he edited the 2004 World Health Organization "blue book" World Health Organization Classification of Tumours. Pathology and Genetics of Tumours of the Urinary System and Male Genital Organs.
John has shared his knowledge of urologic pathology with thousands of pathologists and urologists around the world. He served on the faculty of the pathology review course of the American Urologic Association from 1991 to 2000. He gave a course on renal neoplasia (with David Grignon) for the American Society of Clinical Pathologists from 2005 to 2008, directed their 73rd annual Slide Seminar on Anatomic Pathology in 2005, and is presently on the faculty of their annual course Contemporary Issues in Urologic Pathology. John has served on the faculty of the annual Harvard course Urologic Surgical Pathology for the Practicing Pathologist since its inception in 1997.
John became active in the International Society for Urologic Pathology at the time it was founded in 1990. He served as a Councillor from 1991 to 1995, as its Treasurer from 1995 to 2001, and its President-elect and President from 2001 to 2005. It was through his work with the Society that John came to know Kash Mostofi, who served as its Secretary and then President in the early years of the Society. The Society awarded him the Leopold Koss Medal for Distinguished Service in 2003.
With David Bostwick, John gave his first short course for the USCAP, Incipient Neoplasia in Diagnostic Urologic Pathology, from 1994 to 1998. This was followed by Tumors of the Kidneys and Ureters (with Stephan Störkel) from 1997 to 2000. Next was Renal Neoplasia: Diagnostic Problems and Newly Recognized Entities (with Holger Moch) from 2005 to 2008. Presently, he gives Handling and Reporting of Tumor-containing Specimens in Urologic Pathology (with David Grignon). In 2008, he directed the Long Course, Tumors of the Kidneys and Urinary Bladder with David Grignon. John served as a reviewer of abstracts for the annual meeting from 1995 to 1998 and he moderated the Genitourinary Evening Subspecialty Conference from 2000 to 2002. He served briefly on the Finance Committee before being elected to his current term as a member of Council. When Dr. Mills announced he would be stepping down as editor of Modern Pathology, John had been editing the quarterly Journal of Urologic Pathology for
three years and was looking for an opportunity to edit a major monthly pathology journal so he applied for the position. The Academy selected him and he became the fourth editor of Modern Pathology in 2000, its thirteenth year of publication. In 2005, his first term ended and the Academy reappointed him for a second term. In 2009, the Academy approved an unprecedented third (and final) term for him as editor of Modern Pathology. During John's tenure as editor, Modern Pathology has changed publishers and is now published by the Nature Publishing Group. Its impact factor has risen from 3.2 to 4.7, and the number of manuscripts submitted to it annually has doubled. The transition from envelopes full of paper and photos to digital online manuscript submission and management and the publication of up to three pages with color illustrations at no charge to the author have also been major accomplishments. The International Academy of Pathology honored the journal and Dr. Eble with the IAP Gold Medal for
international education and research excellence at its centennial meeting in 2006.