Following the closure of the Swiss Institute of Toxicology in Schwerzenbach in 2001, only limited capacity in applied research and industry-independent consultation services remained and there was a lack of training and continuing education programs in human toxicology in Switzerland.
In 2002, National Councillor Maya Graf submitted a motion to the Swiss Parliament which led to a Report of the Federal Council on independent toxicology research in Switzerland. Following an application by Profs. Denis Hochstrasser, University of Geneva, and Stephan Krähenbühl, University of Basel, the Swiss Centre for Applied Human Toxicology (SCAHT) was founded on 19 November 2009. Financial support has been provided by the Swiss Confederation with in-kind contributions from the Universities of Basel, Geneva and Lausanne.
In its first funding period 2009 - 2012, SCAHT established and consolidated its position as the focal point for human toxicology and risk assessment sciences in Switzerland, and re-established the presence of Swiss toxicology on an international level.
At a meeting between the State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI), the Rectors/Vice-Rectors of the participating universities, and the SCAHT President and Director on 26 June 2012, it was decided to create a foundation hosted by the University of Geneva and supported by the Universities of Basel and Lausanne. The 'Foundation of the Swiss Centre for Applied Human Toxicology' was officially registered with the Registre du Commerce de Genève on 18 February 2014.
In the current funding period 2013 – 2016, SCAHT aims to continue to strengthen independent Swiss toxicology research networks and training and continuing education programs, and bridge the gap between basic research and regulatory needs in Switzerland. Another focus is to consolidate and build on the representation of Switzerland in international committees and decision-making bodies for human toxicology.