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Unit of Forensic Medicine (UMF)
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The CURML welcomes you to its website!

  • Centre universitaire romand de médecine légale,
    Lausanne - Genève (CURML)
  • University Center of Legal Medicine,
    Lausanne - Geneva
  • Universitätszentrum für Rechtsmedizin,
    Lausanne - Genf


On 1st October 2007, the University Institutes of Legal Medicine of the Faculty of Medicine of Geneva and the Faculty of Biology and Medicine of Lausanne merged to become the University Centre of Legal Medicine (CURML).

Located on the two University Hospital sites of Lausanne and Geneva, the Centre employs around 140 people in the following seven specialist units: Forensic medicine (one of the branches of forensic science and a term sometimes used instead of legal medicine); Traffic Medicine and Psychology; Violence Medicine, Legal Psychiatry; Medical Law, Ethics and Humanitarian Medicine; Forensic Genetics; Forensic Toxicology and Chemistry; and the Swiss Laboratory for Doping Analyses.

Through the versatility of its skill sets, the Centre is able to respond to requests for expertise, assistance and advice in the fields of legal medicine, medical law and doping analysis. Based in the Lake Geneva area, its influence extends not only locally and regionally, but also at a national and international level.

Forensic medicine is an evolving discipline that relies more and more on the most up-to-date scientific techniques in the fields of biomedical imaging, molecular biology, and analytical toxicology. Its evolution over recent years has been summarized in an article published in the Swiss Journal of Medicine. Forensic medicine and forensic science have also benefited from a special media promotion through television series and crime fiction.

The Centre works essentially with legal authorities and the police, cantonal administrations responsible for road traffic management, national and international sports federations, the World Anti-Doping Agency, the International Olympic Committee, public and private international institutions (United Nations, World Health Organization, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Council of Europe, International Criminal Court, as well as non-governmental organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, Amnesty international, Physicians for Human Rights, Alkarama for Human Rights) where the Centre’s expertise can play a part in resolving problems.

Because of its University nature, the Centre is also actively involved in teaching and continuing education, as well as research in all areas within its scope. The aim of this site is not only to inform the public about the activities and skills of our Centre, but also, through a description of the missions of this academic institution, to provide insight into the attraction, diversity and complexity of the discipline of legal medicine.

Professor Patrice Mangin, Director, (CV, Wikipedia)

- News in brief from Spring 2013 to Winter 2013 - 2014

- Dr Silke Grabherr was appointed on January 1st as clinical doctor, Privat-Docent and head of the new forensic imaging unit of the CURML. Since January 1st, Dr Silke Grabherr is also secretary (Schriftführerin) of the German society of forensic medicine (DGRM). In addition, Dr Silke Grabherr acquired a Leenaards grant in 2012 for future academics of clinical medicine of UNIL-CHUV.

-You are sincerely welcome to attend the 23nd International Meeting on Forensic Medicine Alpe-Adria-Pannonia which will be held in Lausanne, Switzerland, from June 26 to 28, 2014. Further information, online registration and accommodation about this event is now available at We would like to remind you that the abstract submission deadline is April 30, 2014 and registration deadline is May 31, 2014.

This meeting will be an excellent opportunity to learn about the most recent advances in legal medicine with its workshops, lectures and oral presentations. We would like to inform you that the scientific program of the congress as well as the pre-congress workshops can also be reached from the meeting website.

- Press factsheet,| Lausanne, November 10, 2013 - Factsheet on forensics report concerning the late President Yasser Arafat (pdf, 67ko).

- During the elections that took place at the meeting of the Swiss Society of Forensic Medicine, Saturday, November 10, 2012 in Zurich-Kloten, Dr. Marc Augsburger was elected Vice President while remaining chairman of the toxicology section. On the other hand, Prof. Michael Thali, director of the Forensic Institute in Zurich, has been renewed for two years as president. Moreover, the CURML was distinguished by the number of collaborators at the executive committee. Dr.Marc Bollmann is the new chairman of the Forensic Medicine section. Dr.Vincent Castella remains President of the Section of Forensic Genetics.

- Since November 2012, a new outpost of the Violence Medical Unit of the CURML is on operational duties at the Hospital of Yverdon-les-Bains.

- At the last meeting of the IALM (International Academy of Legal Medicine) in Istanbul, Turkey in July 2012, Prof. Patrice Mangin, director of the CURML, was appointed Vice-President of the Academy. Dr. Tony Fracasso, head of theForensic Medicine Unit at the site of Geneva, was made treasurer of the society. Founded in 1938, in Bonn (Germany), the IALM is the oldest and most famous scientific association with international scope in the sphere of Legal Medicine and the Forensic Sciences.

- Following the request of the Centre of Legal Medicine in Western Switzerland (CURML), the Institute of radiation physics (IRA) has conducted measurements of radioactivity on the personal effects of the former President of the Palestinian Authority, Mr. Yasser Arafat. The institute studied Arafat’s personal effects, which his widow Mrs Suha Arafat provided to Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera, the first time they would have been examined by a laboratory. The results of all the measurements conducted were negative, except for those relating to Polonium-210. The interpretation of these measurements is difficult, because the measured values are low and the normal reference levels are imperfectly known.

- From April 2012, under a new agreement with the Canton of Valais, a unit of forensic medicine is open in Sion (Valais) in the town hospital which is part of the Health Network of Valais (RSV). Autopsies aside, many of the tasks of a forensic pathology unit will be made on site by the incumbent forensic pathologist Dr Bettina Schrag who, while being appointed senior physician at the Hospital of Sion, will remain affiliated to the CURML. In the field of forensic toxicology, there is also a collaboration agreement between the department of Clinical Chemistry and Toxicology of the ICHV in Sion and the UTCF of the CURML. The incumbent toxicologist is Mr. Nicolas Donze, FAMH and SSML toxicologist.

- Non-exhaustive list of interventions by the centre

  • International institutions:
    • Intervention in East Timor, 2000, United Nations
    • Guantanamo, 2006, Alkarama for Human Rights
    • Council of Europe, European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), 2007
    • Former Yugoslavia, International Criminal Court, 1998 – 2000

  • Major disasters:
  • Affairs
    • Lady Diana, 1997, France
    • Cédric Tornay, 1998, Vatican
    • Judge Bernard Borel, 2002, Djibouti
    • Gendarme Jambert, 2004, France
    • Tommaso Onofri, 2007, Italy
    • Yasser Arafat, 2012-2013, Palestine

Forthcoming continuing education seminars

On Wednesdays once or twice a month, on the Geneva or Lausanne site, a guest speaker gives a talk on a topical subject of legal medicine or a related theme.

To find out more :

Upcoming CURML seminars

This month's news

Maps and ways of access

Registration (pdf, 219ko)

Master of advanced studies in Toxicology 2014-2016
Registration and information

3rd Virtangio workshop 7-8 September 2014 in Hambourg/Germany

2nd International Training for Radiographers in Forensic Radiology 10th and 11th November 2014, Lausanne (pdf, 505ko)

November 7, 2013: Arafat Press conference

Factsheet Arafat


- Paternity testing

- Doping (LAD)

- Vacancies

- Next seminar

- CURML publications

- The CURML on the CHUV website

- Webcam, CHUV and CURML

- français

Site profiles

- Lausanne

- Geneva

- The Lake Geneva Region

- Geneva and surrounding area

- Lausanne and surrounding area

CURML, Lausanne (pdf, 161ko)

CURML, Lausanne, Psychology and Traffic Medicine (UMPT) (pdf, 250ko)

CURML, Geneva (pdf, 254ko)

Reconstruction of a crime scene (doc: CEMCAV-CHUV, P. Dutoit)


Last Update on 14.07.2014

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