Department of Forensic Medicine & Toxicology – History

From the inception of the Colombo Medical School in 1870 upto 1951, lectures in Forensic Medicine were conducted by the Judicial Medical Officer, Colombo. The Department of Forensic Medicine functioned as a subunit of the office of the Judicial Medical Officer, Colombo. Among others Dr. N. Sinnadurai, Dr. P. S. Gunawardena and Dr. G. S. W. de Saram performed the duties of judicial Medical Officer, Colombo, and lecturer in Forensic Medicine.

In 1951,a separate Department of Forensic Medicine was created in the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Ceylon. Dr. G.S.W de Saram, MBBS (Lond), MRCS (Eng), LRCP (Lond), LMS (Ceylon), OBE, the Judicial Medical Officer, Colombo was appointed the first Professor of Forensic Medicine. Professor de Saram retired in 1958 and Dr H.V.J Fernando succeeded him as Professor in 1959.

Professor N. Kodagoda was elected to the Chair of Forensic Medicine in 1985 and Professor Ravindra Fernando succeeded him in 1959.Considering the work performed and contributions made in the field of toxicology, the name of the Department was changed to “Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology” in 1990.

Professor Ravindra Fernando
1997 – 1998

Professor Jean Perera
1999 – 2001

Professor Ravindra Fernando
2002 – 2003

Professor Jean Perera
2004 – 2005

Dr. Nilukshi Abesinghe
2006 – 2008

Dr. Buddika Weerasuriya
2009 – 2010

Professor Ravindra Fernando
2011 – 2013

Professor Jean Perera
2014 – 2017

Dr. Asela Mendis
2018 – 2020

Dr. Sameera Gunawardena
2021 – present