- School of Medicine Distinguished Alumni Award (2005)
John E. Pless, M.D., is the Clyde G. Culbertson Professor Emeritus of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. This was the first endowed Chair devoted to teaching pathology to medical students. He was the Associate Chairman of the Department of Pathology and as such has oversight for the educational programs including teaching of medical students, dental students and residents in pathology. His subspeciality in medicine is Forensic Pathology having to do with the documentation and analysis of medical/legal factors relating to death and injury. For the past 18 years he has been the Director of the Division of Forensic Pathology at Indiana University and during most of that time he served as the Chief Forensic Pathologist for Indianapolis/Marion County. He currently serves as Director of the tissue bank of Indiana Organ Recovery Organization.
His major interest has been the evaluation of injuries and abuse of children and other persons in custody. His research includes the study of the differences between accidental and intentionally inflicted wounds. He currently serves as a consultant in forensic medicine.
A native of Bedford and Bloomington, Indiana and a graduate of Indiana University and its School of Medicine, Dr. Pless is married and the father of three children. In his spare time he plays in a traditional jazz band "The Residue" and helps shepherd a not-for-profit organization, The Villages Inc. of Indiana, which is responsible for the care of 1,000 abused, abandoned and neglected children in group homes and specialized foster care homes all over Indiana.