Who we are ?


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).

January 1, 2016, Prof. Dr. Silke Grabherr succeeded Prof Patrice Mangin as Director of the CURML Lausanne-Geneva. Prof. Dr. S. Grabherr was also appointed Full Professor of Forensic medicine of the Faculty of Biology and Medicine of Lausanne and of the Faculty of Medicine of Geneva. Prof. P. Mangin retired after leading the CURML from 1996 to late 2015.

Mainly located on the two University Hospital sites of Lausanne and Geneva, the Centre employs around 220 people in the following twelve specialist units : Forensic medicine (one of the branches of forensic science and a term sometimes used instead of legal medicine); Forensic Imaging and Anthropology; Traffic Medicine and Psychology; Violence Medicine, Legal Psychiatry; Medical Law, Ethics and Humanitarian Medicine; Forensic Genetics; Forensic Toxicology and Chemistry; the Swiss Laboratory for Doping Analyses; Facultary Unit of Toxicologie; Facultary Unit of Anatomy and Morphology; and  the Swiss Humain Institut of Forensic Taphonomy

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.

In mid-January 2015, the CURML moved to its new location north of Lausanne, in the Chalet-à-Gobet area. The center is now equipped with a battery of new analytical instruments and forensic imaging (Automated DNA extraction platform, 64 Rows-CT Scanner, 1.5 T MRI, Q Exactive Plus hybrid quadrupole orbitrap mass spectrometer and MALDI LTQ Orbitrap XL mass spectrometer).

Prof. Dr Silke Grabherr, Head of the CURML Lausanne-Geneva.

News in brief 2014-2015

  • Dr. Marc Augsburger was elected president of the Swiss Society of Legal Medicine at the winter meeting of the society in November 2014. Moreover, Dr. Marc Bollmann was reappointed Chairman of the Forensic Medicine section. The new steering committee is presented on the web site of the society.
  • A project of the toxicology unit (UTCF) made in collaboration with the team of clinical pharmacology of HUG has been awarded at the 8th Innovation Day organized by the HUG in Geneva on October 30th. This project entitled "Geneva Micro-cocktail: simplified measurement of the actual activity of metabolic enzymes and transporters" was developed and promoted by Dr. Julien Déglon and Prof. Aurélien Thomas. It won the second prize in the category "Innovation Academy".
  • Dr Bernard Favrat was promoted as of 1st October 2014 to associated professor at the Faculty of biology and medicine of Lausanne. Teaching will cover the theory and practice of medical evaluation, especially concerning assessment of fitness to drive.

 Non-exhaustive list of interventions by the centre

  • International institutions :
    • Council of Europe, European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT), 2007
    • Guantanamo, 2006, Alkarama for Human Rights
    • Intervention in East Timor, 2000, United Nations
    • Former Yugoslavia, International Criminal Court, 1998 – 2000
  • Major disasters :
    • Sierre coach crash, March 2012
    • Tsunami, Thailand, December 2004
    • Solar Temple, Switzerland, 1994
    • Airbus crash Mont Ste-Odile, France, 1992


Official presentation of the CURML