Forensic Toxicology and Chemistry Unit

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Research areas of the UTCF :

The UTCF develops and collaborates in many multidisciplinary research projects in different fields of analytical chemistry, toxicology, biology and medicine.

Among these projects, several research axes are developed:

  • Aurélien Thomas, Prof asst, R&D Manager
    After obtaining a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Geneva and completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Montreal, Aurélien Thomas was appointed Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Biology and Medicine of the University of Lausanne in 2014 and Associate Professor in 2018. His research interests include the study of the toxic effect of xenobiotics and more particularly trace elements on the function of adipose tissue and the development of metabolic diseases. He is interested in the use of omics approaches to study the toxicodynamic responses induced by these substances on the organism using in vitro and in vivo models. Over the years, he has developed and contributed to numerous interdisciplinary projects in close collaboration with physicians, biologists, analyticists, and bioinformaticians and is currently involved in several population studies.
  • Marc Augsburger, PhD, LTCF Manager
    Head of the LTCF in Lausanne since 2001, forensic toxicologist of the SSML, Marc Augsburger is now in charge of the Forensic Toxicology and Chemistry Unit of the CURML. After completing his doctoral work on the problems related to driving under the influence of drugs and medication, Marc Augsburger completed a one-year postdoctoral fellowship (FNRS funding) at the University of Utah (Salt Lake City, USA) on the problem of drug incorporation in hair. Post-mortem clinical chemistry and post-mortem toxicology, as well as toxicological assessment of capacity and fitness are his main research topics. He was awarded the 2019 Grand Prix of the French Society of Analytical Toxicology (SFTA).
  • Nicolas Concha-Lozano, Dr. Sc.
    After a PhD from the Ecole des Mines, Nicolas Concha-Lozano specialized in aerosol metrology, mainly using electron microscopy methods in the laboratory of the Institute of Occupational Health in Lausanne. His expertise concerns the measurement of inorganic aerosols such as fine particles, asbestos and crystalline silica. His research currently focuses on the toxicology of new tobacco products (ANSES expert) and on exposure markers in exhaled air. At the UTCF since 2019, he is also involved in the development of analytical methods of exposure markers.
  • Julien Déglon, Dr. Sc. Pharm.
    Julien Déglon holds a federal diploma in pharmacy and a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Geneva. At the interface between analytical chemistry and clinical pharmacology, Julien Déglon contributed to the development of the dried blood spot technique within the hospital. With his experience acquired during the last 7 years, Julien Déglon is involved in both routine activities of the LWC and research projects. At this level, he is particularly interested in the development and integration of microfluidic approaches for the collection and processing of biological samples.
  • Federica Gilardi, Dr. Sc.
    After obtaining a degree in pharmaceutical biotechnology and a PhD in biochemistry at the Università degli Studi di Milano (Italy), Federica Gilardi completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Centre Intégratif de Génomique at the University of Lausanne, where she coordinated the activities of Professor Béatrice Desvergne's laboratory during her term as Dean. Federica Gilardi has extensive experience in the regulation of metabolic homeostasis and its pathological dysfunctions (i.e. diabetes and obesity) at the transcriptional and epigenetic level. Since 2017 she has joined CWU where she is interested in understanding the direct and trans-generational metabolic effects of exposure to disruptors, such as heavy metals and xenobiotics.
  • Sébastien Lenglet, Dr. Sc.
    After obtaining a PhD in cellular and molecular biology at the University of Rouen (France), Sébastien LENGLET did postdoctoral training in the diabetology-endocrinology and cardiology departments of the University Hospital of Geneva. He then worked for 5 years as a Senior Assistant at the University of Geneva Medical School, dividing his time between teaching in cardiology and research in the field of atherosclerosis. Since 2015, Sébastien LENGLET is in charge of the ICP-MS metal analysis platform for routine hospital analysis in the cantonal hospitals of Geneva, Lausanne and Sion, and ante and postmortem analysis in forensic medicine. Sébastien LENGLET continues in parallel his research activities, mainly on the role of heavy metals in obesogenicity and the molecular characterization of mutations in enzymes of metabolism and transporters of drugs and metals.
  • Caroline Mathon, Dr. Sc. Pharm.
    Caroline Mathon is a chemist and obtained her PhD in pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Geneva. During her doctoral studies and post-doctoral fellowships (at the University of California, Riverside, USA; Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden; and Systems Toxicology, PMI, Neuchâtel, Switzerland), Caroline developed an expertise in mass spectrometry. She has used this technique to detect and assay endogenous and exogenous metabolites in different biological matrices. Among her research projects, she is interested in the impact of external factors on endogenous metabolites. 
  • Grégory Plateel, MSc. Analytical
    Graduated with a Master in Analytical Sciences and Biotechnology from the University of Rouen, and after five years of experience as a service manager in a laboratory in the environmental field, Grégory Plateel was hired in 2009 at the Institute of Occupational Health to develop the analytical capabilities of the laboratory and to improve the process of treatment of samples coming from research and service. Since January 2019, he has joined the Forensic Toxicology and Chemistry Unit of Forensics and is in charge of the operational part of the exposure toxicology laboratory. He is involved in the development of mass spectrometry analysis of metabolites, metals, exposure markers.
  • Frank Sporkert, Dr rer. nat.
    Dr. Frank Sporkert, forensic toxicologist of the SSML and the GTFCh since 2007, is interested in the detection of drugs, medications and alcohol abuse markers in hair. He is a board member of the Society of Hair Testing (SOHT). A grant from the Swiss Alcohol Research Foundation allowed him to evaluate the value of measuring the concentration of ethylglucuronide in hair compared to conventional markers. In addition, he is involved in the development of mass spectrometric analytical methods for routine drug analysis. 
  • Jonathan Sidibé, Dr ès Sc. Pharm.
    Jonathan Sidibé obtained a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Geneva. During his PhD he specialized in the development of new analytical strategies applied to peptide and protein analysis by mass spectrometry. Jonathan is currently a toxicologist at the UTCF. He applies his knowledge in LC-MS in the routine activities by developing new analytical methods and in the research activities of the unit, especially in the field of metabolomics. 
  • Christèle Widmer, Dr ès Sc.
    After obtaining a doctorate in sciences from the University of Geneva, Christèle Widmer, forensic toxicologist of the SSML, was hired at the Institute of Legal Medicine to set up the quality system of the toxicology laboratory in view of the accreditation of the laboratory according to the ISO 17025 standard. For two years she was in charge of the MS platform and the training of the master students. Since 2007, she is in charge of the operational part of the laboratory and is particularly interested in the development of analyses related to the sampling of bodies coming from the autopsy room and the study of decomposed or adipocere bodies.

Publications :