Research of the Chair of Forensic Medicine


The main goal of research of the department of forensic medicine is the assessment of the acute and chronic effects of alcohol on the human organism and finding new pathways to improve the quality of diagnosis. Comparison of RNA expression and chromatin modifications helps to identify causal relationships between acute and chronic ethanol consumption and epigenetic changes and gene expression levels.

Second topic is to find possibilities of using biochemical parameters (glucose, lactate, glycated hemoglobin, potassium and adenosine metabolite hypoxanthine) to determine the cause and time of death. In 2021, in cooperation with the Estonian Forensic Institute, magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) was added to the methods of determining the time of death. 1H-MRS is a noninvasive method for detecting metabolites in brain tissue. The aim is to comprehensively evaluate the results of 1H-MRS studies with other existing methods, such as the temperature of the corpse and the external environment, post-mortem potassium and hypoxanthine values and other post-mortem changes.


Current collaborations

In Estonia: Institute of Biomedicin and Translation Medicine Department of Physiology
International: ECLM (European Council of Legal Medicine), Forensic Medicine Institute in Vilnius
Cooperation with companies: Estonian Forensic Science Institute


Most important scientific articles in last five years

  1. R. Cecchi 1,2, D. Cusack 3,4, B. Ludes 3,5, B. Madea 3,6, D. N. Vieira 3,7, E. Keller 3,8, J. Payne-James 3,9, A. Sajantila 3,10, M. Väli 3, 11, R. Zoia 3,12, N. Cucurachi 1,2, M. L. Schirripa 1,2, F. Marezza 1,2, L. Anzillotti 1,2, L. Donato 1,2, C. Cattaneo 3, 12, D. Favretto 13,14, S. Pelotti 13,15, V. Pinchi 13,16, S. Vanin 13,17, M. Gherardi 1,18. European Council of Legal Medicine (ECLM) on-site inspection forms for forensic pathology, anthropology, odontology, genetics, entomology and toxicology for forensic and medico-legal scene and corpse investigation: the Parma form. International Journal of Legal Medicine, Published online: 11 January 2022
  2. Hade Andreas-Christian, Philips Mari-Anne Philips, Reimann Ene, Jagomäe Toomas, Eskla Kattri-Liis Traks Tanel, Prans Ele, Kõks Sulev, Vasar Eero, Väli Marika (2021). Chronic Alcohol Use Induces Molecular Genetic Changes in the Dorsomedial Thalamus of People with Alcohol-Related Disorders. Brain Sciences, 11 (4), 435. doi: 10.3390/brainsci11040435.
  3. Keller E, Santos C, Cusack D, Väli M, Ferrara D, Ludes B, Mangin P, Payne-James JJ, Viera DN. European council of legal medicine (ECLM) guidelines for the examination of suspected elder abuse. Int J Legal Med. 2019; 133:317–322. 
  4. Karis K, Eskla KL, Kaare M, Taht K, Tuusov J, Visnapuu T, Innos J, Jayaram M, Timmusk T, Weickert CS, Väli M, Vasar E, Philips MA. Altered Expression Profile of IgLON Family of Neural Cell Adhesion Molecules in the Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex of Schizophrenic Patients. Front Mol Neurosci. 2018;11:8. doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2018.00008
  5. Lepik D, Tõnisson M, Kuudeberg A, Väli M. Glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) for post-mortem diagnosis of diabetes. Forensic Sci Res. 2018;3(2):170–177. doi: 10.1080/20961790.2018.1452354.

Career conference „To new hights with a PhD degree!“

Teaduskonverentsi publik

Call for abstracts: scientific conference celebrating the anniversary of the Faculty of Medicine

 Tartu Ülikooli bio- ja siirdemeditsiini instituudi inimese geneetika õppetooli uuring koostöös Tartu Ülikooli Kliinikumi meestekliinikuga näitas, et üllatavalt suurel osal viljatutest meestest on lapsena diagnoositud munandi laskumishäire. Õigeaegne sekkumine aitab tulevikus lahendada viljatusprobleeme ja ennetada haruldaste kasvajate riski.

Testicular maldescent in infertile men may be a sign of a more severe genetic syndrome