John E. Abele

International Service Award

Crystal Awards Honoree

John Abele is the retired Founding Chairman of Boston Scientific Corporation, and throughout his lengthy career, has made a lasting and transformational impact on the field of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy through decades of innovation and industry leadership.

Mr. Abele began his career at Medi-Tech, where he helped to pioneer multi-lumen extrusion technology – the foundation on which essentially all catheter-based endoscopy devices are built. Realizing the technology’s potential to enable a new era of less-invasive medicine, Mr. Abele co-founded Boston Scientific in 1979, working directly with physician pioneers to shape the field of therapeutic endoscopy and make minimally invasive medicine a reality. In the years that followed, Mr. Abele oversaw the acquisition of Endo-Tech to introduce its innovative technology to gastroenterologists around the world, leading to the official launch of Boston Scientific Endoscopy. The technology and manufacturing techniques that Mr. Abele developed served as the foundation of numerous devices and techniques that endoscopists continue to use today, including ERCP sphincterotomes, disposable biopsy forceps, dilation balloons, TTS stents, single-operator cholangioscopes and single-use endoscopes, all of which are direct descendants of his original innovations. In particular, two technologies developed by Mr. Abele have been pivotal to the field and have had a transformational impact on healthcare and patient outcomes: multi-lumen steerable catheters and catheter-based dilation balloons.

Mr. Abele currently serves on the Board of FIRST (For Inspiration & Recognition of Science & Technology), is a Fellow in both the Society of Interventional Radiology and the American Institute for Medical and Biomedical Engineering, and has received honorary Doctoral degrees from York University, Northeastern University, University of Vermont, Wentworth Institute of Technology and Amherst College.

Without the hard work and dedication of the entire Boston Scientific team, as well as the numerous clinicians and innovators with whom Mr. Abele has worked over the years, none of this would have been possible. This award is equally theirs.

It is truly an honor to receive this award, which must be shared with the many Boston Scientific personnel who have collaborated with so many ASGE member innovators over the years. Since founding Boston Scientific, we have remained dedicated to transforming lives through innovative medical solutions that improve the health of patients around the world. This award is truly a testament to our mission and commitment to patient care.