The mission of UF Health Forensic Medicine is fourfold – education, research, service and outreach. This division within the UF Department of Pathology, Immunology and Laboratory Medicine utilizes its extensive expertise in forensic medicine to provide comprehensive services and innovative programs that relate to medicolegal death investigation, forensic toxicology and animal cruelty investigations. It also promotes efficient fiscal management and strategic future planning for growth and operational oversight; a visible presence for forensic medicine in the Department; the UF College of Medicine and the University; and increased interdisciplinary, cross-college and inter-agency communication and collaboration by providing a mechanism for promoting service, research, development, education and training.
In the execution of these functions, UF Health Forensic Medicine operates eight distinct service units, including:
- District 8 Medical Examiner’s Office: The goal of the District 8 Medical Examiner’s Office is to provide forensic death investigation with scientific objectivity, irrespective of personal beliefs or emotional attachment to the circumstances of any particular case and shed light on any mysteries surrounding one’s death. We do this by performing thorough, impartial, objective forensic examinations of the body and circumstances surrounding every person’s demise to determine the cause and manner of death and to aid families, friends of the deceased and the justice system.
- UF Health Pathology Laboratories’ Forensic Toxicology Laboratory: The primary mission of the Forensic Toxicology Laboratory at UF Health Pathology Laboratories is to support the Medical Examiner in the activity of investigating the cause and manner of death. In this regard, the Forensic Toxicology Laboratory provides comprehensive testing for the evaluation of the presence of poisons and/or exogenous chemicals (e.g., drugs and metabolites) in biological specimens provided as a function of the autopsy and/or inspection process. The findings are evaluated to determine what role, if any, they may have had in a given decedent’s death.
- William R. Maples Center for Forensic Medicine: With extensive expertise in the forensic sciences, the William R. Maples Center’s comprehensive forensic services and innovative programs in medicolegal death investigation support its primary endeavors in education, research, service and outreach. This is a joint initiative of the University of Florida Colleges of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Liberal Arts and Sciences.
- University of Florida Racing Laboratory: The Florida Racing Laboratory has provided drug testing services to the Florida Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering for over sixty years and has been continuously accredited for animal drug testing and forensic toxicology under ISO 17025 since 2001.
- ASPCA Veterinary Forensic Sciences Program: This program is made possible with financial support from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). The program fosters the application of the forensic sciences to veterinary medicine through workshops, short courses, graduate research, case analysis, and distance education.
- Florida Emergency Mortuary Operations Response System (FEMORS): The goal of FEMORS is to assist and support the local District Medical Examiner’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement and other responding agencies in the event of a mass fatality incident, as directed by the Florida Department of Health.
- Forensic Medicine Distance Education Program: UF’s online Master of Science in Forensic Medicine is the first fully-online advanced degree in forensic medicine. Students and professionals now have the opportunity to develop their skills and apply medical knowledge to the investigation of crimes – all from anywhere in the world.
- Wildlife Forensic Sciences Distance Education Program: The University of Florida’s online graduate program in Wildlife Forensic Sciences aims to help bridge the knowledge gap in wildlife protection. Through this program, students will learn how critical the protection and conservation of the world’s wildlife is to our ecosystem and natural environment.
- Bruce A. Goldberger, Ph.D., F-ABFT (director, UF Health Forensic Medicine)
- William F. Hamilton, M.D. (Chief Medical Examiner for the District 8 Medical Examiner’s Office)
- Wendy Stroh, D.O. (director for UF Health Autopsy Services)
- Jason H. Byrd, Ph.D., D-ABFE (associate director, William R. Maples Center for Forensic Medicine)
- Tim Garrett, Ph.D.
- Ricardo Camacho (operations manager, UF Health Forensic Medicine)
- Office: 352.265.0680, ext. 72217
- Cell: 813.952.8079
- Fax: 352.265.9904
- UF Clinical Toxicology Laboratory
- Forensic Institute, UF Department of Psychiatry
- C.A. Pound Human Identification Laboratory
- Florida Department of Law Enforcement
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
- Florida Association of Medical Examiners
- Local and state for Florida law enforcement