The information provided will not only help you understand our operation but also give you insight into the complex world of forensic medicine and science.
Our office has a unique and highly specialized mission in which we provide forensic investigation and analysis to the citizens of Harris County through two fully accredited services:
(a) The Medical Examiner Service encompasses investigations, forensic pathology, anthropology, morgue, forensic imaging, postmortem toxicology, histology, and finance and administration. (b)The Forensic Crime Laboratory Service includes the five distinct forensic disciplines of Drug Chemistry, Forensic Toxicology, Trace Evidence, Firearms Identification and Forensic Genetics (serology/DNA) as well as laboratory administrative services.
Each service has its own objectives that respond to the current issues and needs of Harris County which go beyond the determination of the cause of death.
The Institute of Forensic Sciences investigates sudden death in order to determine cause and manner of death, preserves evidence, contributes to public health/safety surveillance, analyzes physical evidence, and provides expert testimony in courts of law.
The Forensic Pathology Service and the Crime Laboratory Service are jointly committed to serving the community by creating and maintaining a dynamic academic environment to maximize awareness of the forensic sciences and by being in the forefront of utilizing the latest methodologies and technologies. We have established an academically oriented forensic center and created unique learning opportunities for visiting medical students, lawyers, law enforcement officers and physicians.
The HCIFS is a member institution of the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Texas since 1983.