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Forensic Pathologist at Monash University and Deputy Director, Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine

A/Professor Ranson is the Deputy Director of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine and Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Forensic Medicine at Monash University. He is a specialist in Forensic Pathology and Clinical Forensic Medicine with a strong professional interest in Medical Law.

David studied Medicine and Law in the United kingdom and he trained as a specialist in histopathology in Bristol. Whist at Bristol he also worked in the field of clinical forensic medicine being appointed a Police Surgeon to Avon and Somerset Constabulary. In addition to his professional qualifications in pathology and law David was appointed a foundation fellow of the Faculty of Forensic and Legal Medicine of the Royal College of Physicians in the UK and is a Fellow of the Australian College of Legal Medicine.

David has worked as forensic pathologist for the British investigation team examining the individuals killed in the conflict in Kosovo and has been part of the teams assisting in the forensic pathology work in a number of major DVI incidents. He has provided expert medical testimony in a range of courts in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and in many States and Territories in Australia and has has provided expert medical testimony in a number of Commonwealth Senate enquiries in Australia.

In the last 10 years he has been particularly involved in the establishment and working of specialist death investigation and research units aimed at preventing avoidable death and injury. These units have included the National Coroners’ Information System, the Clinical Liaison Service (adverse medical event investigation unit) the Workplace Death Investigation Unit and the Consultative Committee into Road Traffic Fatalities.

He is a member of the Federal Government’s “Australian Suicide Prevention Advisory Council”, the Victoria Police Road Fatality review committee and is a member of the Commonwealth Australian Suicide prevention Advisory Council. He is an assessor for the National Association of Testing Authorities (Medical Testing and Forensic Science) and a Member of the Forensic Science Advisory Committee of the National Association of Testing Authorities. He is currently the Victorian State Councillor for the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia.

In 2004 David was appointed the visiting International Expert in Forensic Pathology at the Health Sciences Authority in Singapore and in 2008 he was invited to provide expert advice to the Judicial Commission of inquiry into paediatric forensic pathology in Ontario (Goudge Inquiry).

In addition to research activities in the fields of Forensic Medicine and Pathology David Ranson’s research interests include:

• Medical informatics
• Post-mortem medical imaging
• Investigation of adverse medical treatment events
• Coronial law and practice
• Death investigation systems
• Disaster Victim Identification
• Injury prevention
• Workplace safety

David has published widely in the fields of forensic medicine, medical law and pathology. He has written, co-written and contributed to a number of books in the fields of Forensic Medicine and Pathology and he has produced a number of medico-legal policy and research reports for government and private agencies. He regularly contributes to the Medical issues section of the Journal of law and Medicine.

Outside Medicine David is a choral singer with the Victoria Choral and is involved with early music and dance productions in Melbourne as an actor. His other interests include Radio and Electronics and he holds amateur radio licences in Australia (VK3ECG) and the UK (G0IWI). He is also interested in vintage HiFi systems, classical music and archery


  • 1988–present
    Deputy Director, Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine
  • 1988–present
    Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Forensic Medicine, Monash University
  • 1981–1988
    Lecture in Pathology, Bristol University


  • 1997 
    Royal College of Pathologists of the United Kingdom, Fellowship
  • 1989 
    Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, Fellowship
  • 1987 
    Royal College of Pathologists of the United Kingdom, Membership
  • 1987 
    University of West of England, LLB
  • 1987 
    Royal Society of Apothecaries, Diploma in Medical Jurisprudence (forensic pathology)
  • 1980 
    University of Nottingham, BM. BS.
  • 1978 
    University of Nottingham , B. Med. Sci.


  • 2006
    Death investigation and the Coroners’ Inquest, (written with Dr Ian Freckelton SC), Oxford University Press

Research Areas

  • Forensic Biology (069901)
  • Pathology (Excl. Oral Pathology) (110316)
  • Law (1801)
  • Medicine, Nursing And Health Curriculum And Pedagogy (130209)
  • Medical And Health Sciences (11)