In 1996, during the TIAFT meeting in Interlaken, the Executive committee of TIAFT encouraged the creation of a committee devoted to young scientists (less than 41 years of age).
This idea was accepted during the business meeting, and Pascal Kintz, from Strasbourg (France), was nominated to chair it. Alain Verstraete (Belgium) was appointed as secretary. Other members included Carmen Jurado (Spain), Fiona Couper (USA), Aldo Polettini (Italy) and Pierre Marquet (France).
Over the years, most of the original committee members "resigned" (i.e., they were getting OLD!) and new enthusiastic groups of young scientists were ready to take on the responsibilities of the TIAFT young scientists committee.

Current Committee

The Young Scientists Committee consists of (click on the name for a short bio):

Sarah Wille (Belgium)

Sarah Wille

After obtaining my pharmacist degree in 2002 at Ghent University (Belgium), I became a research assistant in the laboratory of Forensic Toxicology under the mentorship of Prof. W. Lambert. In 2008, I obtained my Ph. D. degree describing the detection of antidepressants in various toxicological matrices for clinical and forensic purposes. Afterwards, I started to work in the National Institute of Criminalistics and Criminology in Brussels as a judicial expert toxicology. My main research interests focuses on alternative matrices, drugs and driving and validation of analytical methods.
My first TIAFT meeting was the Washington meeting in 2004. Since then, I try to participate every year as it's a splendid occasion to meet a lot of interesting and joyful scientists. I am also a member of IATDMCT and of their young scientist group. In my spare time, my kids Anna and Edith keep me more than busy!

Markus Meyer (Germany)

Markus Meyer

I started my life as toxicologist when I joined the group of Prof. Hans H. Maurer (Saarland University, Germany) in 2005. I currently work there as a PostDoc and I am actively involved in all aspects of toxicology (including our 24/7 ClinTox service) and bioanalysis. I hold an MSc and PhD in pharmacy from the Saarland University. My PhD was based on the in vitro metabolism of MDMA and related drugs with focus on the enantioselectivity. I am an active member of several professional societies (national and international) and enjoy the exchange and presenting science at their events.

Rafael Lanaro (Brazil)

Rafael Lanaro

I work at the Emergency Laboratory of Poison Control Center of Campinas State University, and as Professor of Toxicology at the Faculty of Pharmacy in Campinas Catholic University, Brazil. I graduated in Pharmacy from the Campinas Catholic University in 2005. After graduation, I started my specialization in Analytical and Clinical Toxicology at Medicine School of Campinas State University. After finishing, I started my Master's degrees in Toxicology and Analytical Toxicology (University of São Paulo) under the mentorship of Prof. Alice Chasin. I am currently finishing my Ph.D.
My main research interests focus on analysis of pesticides, drugs of abuse and medicines in different matrices in Emergency room cases.
My First TIAFT contact was in the regional meeting in Porto Alegre (Brazil, 2009), but my first TIAFT (main event) meeting was in Bonn (2010). Now I hope to be present in all TIAFT meetings, if my beloved wife Cinthia does not kill me. When not at work, I enjoy spending time with my family, wife, friends and travelling around the world.

Elena Lendoiro (Spain)

Elena Lendoiro

I graduated as a Pharmacist in 2008 at the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain). I obtained my MSc in Forensic Sciences in 2011 and my PhD in Forensic Toxicology in 2016 both from the the University of Santiago de Compostela. During two years (2016-2018), I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen (Scotland), and I have recently came back to the University of Santiago de Compostela as a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Institute of Forensic Sciences "Luis Concheiro" and Lecturer in Toxicology. My main research interests focuses on alternative matrices (hair and oral fluid), detection of in-utero exposure and genetic toxicology (comet assay). My first TIAFT meeting was in Madeira 2013. Since then I was able to participate in 5 meetings, where I increased my knowledge and made good friends.

Luca Morini (Italy)

Luca Morini

I started working at the Department of Public Health of the University of Pavia, Italy, in 2004. I obtained a PhD degree in Forensic Science at the University of Verona in 2009. I work as assistant professor at the University of Pavia since 2012. My main research interests involve the development and validation of LC-MS/MS procedures for the determination of xenobiotics in biological matrices, as well as the evaluation of different ethanol direct metabolites, as potential markers in alcohol acute and chronic abuse diagnosis. In particular I extensively studied ethyl glucuronide in hair as a potential marker for chronic excessive alcohol consumption. My first TIAFT meeting was in Ljubljana, in 2006. Since then I have enjoyed every annual meeting, learnt a lot, visited amazing countries, and met hundreds of scientists and friends.
During my free time I like watching movies and TV series, reading fantasy and horror books, but most of all cooking for my friends.

Luke Rodda (Australia)

Luke Rodda

I was lucky enough to have my initiation into Forensic Toxicology in 2006 at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine in Melbourne (Australia) - my home city. After making the move in 2016 to San Francisco at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, I currently hold the position of Director and Chief Forensic Toxicologist.
I have a Pharmaceutical Science degree with Honours in Nanotoxicology research. I completed my PhD at the Department of Forensic Medicine within VIFM/Monash University under Olaf Drummer, Dimitri Gerostamoulos and Jochen Beyer. For this work I was honoured with a TIAFT Young Scientist Award. I thoroughly enjoy the TIAFT meetings and the many scientific and good friends made over the years. I look forward to contributing and continuing to be engaged within our society.
I love to find good food, get to the beach and countryside, take a decent photo, stay healthy, and enjoy the places I travel and live

Shimpei Watanabe (Australia)

Shimpei Watanabe

I studied applied chemistry and forensic science at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) in Australia. I returned to UTS and completed my PhD at the Centre for Forensic Science within the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences under Assoc Prof Shanlin Fu in 2018. The thesis focused on metabolism studies of synthetic cannabinoids using the fungus Cunninghamella elegans. During my PhD, I was fortunate to have an internship at the National Board of Forensic Medicine in Linköping, Sweden, where I worked on metabolism studies of fentanyl analogues using authentic human urine and human hepatocytes. I am currently working as a guest researcher at the National Board of Forensic Medicine. My first TIAFT meeting was in Florence in 2015 and I enjoy these meetings for both science and meeting many scientists. So far, I have represented Australia and Sweden at TIAFT meetings, but I am originally from Japan. In my spare time, I like watching TV series and enjoy travelling and having their regional cuisine.

Ariane Wohlfarth (Sweden)

Ariane Wohlfarth

Hej! I am Ariane Wohlfarth and I am currently working as a Guest Researcher at the National Board of Forensic Medicine in Linköping, Sweden. I am originally from Germany, from Berlin, where I grew up and studied pharmaceutical sciences. After a short period of working in a pharmacy, I went to obtain a PhD degree at the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Freiburg, Germany, from where I graduated in 2012 with a thesis on (natural) cannabis. I like to explore other countries, to live abroad and to learn languages: I have spent some time in Spain and, before coming to Sweden, lived for three years in the USA working as a postdoctoral fellow with Marilyn Huestis at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). At NIDA, my main research project were metabolism studies on synthetic cannabinoids. Moving around a lot, I’m assuming that my chances are good to be able to have a decent conversation in six languages (that’s the goal!) by the time I have to leave the Young Scientists. I’m very happy to be a member of this committee and look forward to future TIAFT meetings - since the meeting in Geneva in 2009, I was lucky to only miss one and I’ve always enjoyed the atmosphere and exchange with toxicologists from all over the world. In my spare time, I love to play beach volleyball and to do yoga and maybe I’ll add cross country skiing to this list after living through enough Swedish winters.

Aims of the Committee

  1. To encourage international collaboration among TIAFT young scientists;
  2. To organize a half a day's meeting during each annual congress; and
  3. To award 3 annual prizes at each meeting for:
    1. the best oral presentation by a Young Scientist during the TIAFT conference,
    2. the best poster presentation by a Young Scientist during the TIAFT conference, and
    3. the best scientific paper published during the previous year.

    The winners of the 3 prizes will be announced at the TIAFT business meeting, and the prizes will be awarded at the Farewell Banquet during each meeting.

To get more information about YSC awards (eligibility, guidelines, winners), please refer to the Young Scientists Awards page.

Meeting Reports

Please, click on the Meeting's location to get the relative report.

YSC Meeting Report 2018 - Ghent

The Young Scientist symposium at TIAFT 2018 in Ghent, Belgium was a joint symposium between the young scientists of TIAFT and ‘The International Association of Therapeutic Drug Monitoring and Clinical Toxicology’ (IATDMCT). Of the 207 registered young scientist, originating from 30 different countries, 150 joined the symposium on Sunday morning 26 th of August.

The symposium kicked-off with an introduction of the YS Committee and a TIAFT tradition -the country roll call. Two keynote speakers Prof. Hans Maurer (Homburg, Germany) and Karolien Van Dijck (NICC, Brussels, Belgium) started the scientific part of the symposium. Hans Maurer gave an the young scientists advice on how to write a good scientific paper. He reflected on papers as a reviewer would do and gave some do’s and absolute no go’s. Karolien Van Dijck looked into the reports of forensic toxicologists and discussed how magistrates or forensic advisors would interpret such results. This gave us an idea on how we could ‘translate’ our scientific findings so they are of more value to the judicial authorities. Luca Morini and Raphaël Lanaro, both members of the YS Committee gave an overview of their current work. Luca discussed the correlation between hair and nail concentrations and Raphaël described the emergency analysis in a clinical toxicology unit in Brazil. As IATDMCT was co-organizer, Brenda De Winter (vice chair of the IATDMCT YS Committee) gave a presentation about phosphatidylethanols as a marker for alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Finally, the scientific part of the YS gathering ended with talks of the YS award winners Lukas Mogler and Alice Seywright. Lukas, who won the best presentation award in Boca Raton, described their methodology to identify, characterize and detect novel synthetic cannabinoids. Alice, who won the best poster award in Boca Raton, talked about the detection of synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists in an emergency department and in post-mortem casework.

A second part of the YS gathering was the Night Out on Tuesday 28 th of August in the ‘White Cat’ sponsored by Shimadzu (Thanks so much for this!). Two-hundred and one young scientists came together for an informal meeting to have a drink and to start up potential future collaborations or at least have a fun and cheerful first encounter.

For the TIAFT Ghent meeting, 83 young scientist applied for the poster award, 36 of them for the best presentation award and 8 papers entered the completion. The winners of those awards are Lilian Richter (best poster), Shimpei Watanabe (best presentation) and Marco Elmiger (best paper award).

The YS Committee current members are Sarah Wille (chair, Belgium), Markus Meyer (secretary, Germany), Marta Concheiro (USA), Raphael Lanaro (Brazil), Luca Morini (Italy), Arianne Wohlfarth (Sweden), Kei Zaitsu (Japan), and Luke Rodda (USA). However, due to their age, Marta and Kei had to step down from the committee. Thanks for all their hard work! The new members of the committee are Elena Lendorio (Spain) and Shimpei Watanabe (Sweden). Welcome to both!

YSC Meeting Report 2017 - Boca Raton

In Boca Raton, the TIAFT YSC collaborated with the SOFT YST to obtain an interesting scientific and social program for the YS on Sunday night from 18:30 till 22:30.

It started off with a TIAFT tradition in which all of the YS present introduced themselves while enjoying some appetizers and drinks. Thereafter, two keynote speakers (one TIAFT and one SOFT) followed. Annelies Cannaert (Belgium) elaborated on the potential of bio-assays based on activity detection instead of chemical structure as an alternative to determine new psychoactive substances. Afterwards Lisa Reidy (USA) discussed the current protocols used in her laboratories for the different types of case-work such as post-mortem, DFSA, DUI and BUI (= Boating under the influence).

The second part of the YS symposium consisted of three presentations of previous TIAFT or SOFT awardees. First, Florian Franz (Germany) gave a talk about hair analysis for synthetic cannabinoids and their metabolites. He looked into some pitfalls and some answers for result interpretation. Thereafter Svante Vikingsson (Sweden) gave an overview of the current research conducted in his laboratory concerning the toxicology, metabolism and detection of NPS. Finally, Lacy Taylor (USA) described the use of an internal hydrolysis indicator for monitoring β-glucuronidase activity.

At the end of the evening, a SOFT tradition was introduced: the open forum. In this open forum, several issues such as the interest of specific trainings and educational programmes were discussed.

YSC Meeting Report 2016 - Brisbane

On Sunday 28 th of August the YS Symposium started with a mentor speech by Marilyn Huestis (USA). Marilyn discussed personal as well as professional issues or milestones that had influenced her career. She talked about the importance of working hard, learning new skills, and asking for help. She focussed the most on publishing and gave a lot of tips to get our scientific work published in high-ranked journals.

After the introduction of 71 young scientists from all over the world, the second part of the scientific YS symposium started.

First, Svante Vikingsson and Ariane Wohlfarth (Sweden) gave a presentation concerning the interpretation of MS spectra for identification and structural elucidation. Using an unknown compound functioning as example/riddle, the YS gradually got to know which structural elucidation rules they should take into consideration to get to the compound of interest. Thereafter, Verena Angerer from Germany gave an update concerning the new NPS on the market. She also discussed several difficulties for the analysis of these drugs such as high extent of metabolism, differentiation of isobaric compounds, instability issues, possible carry-over, low concentrations and structural changes due to sample preparation. Michael Pötzsch (Switzerland) gave a presentation concerning analysis of alternative matrices mainly focussing on hair, nails, and breath. He highlighted the current interpretation issues for these matrices, but also the future applications/perspectives. Finally, Brigitte Desharnais (Canada) talked about the impact of genetic differences on toxicological analysis. She wanted to convince us that genotyping is not as difficult as it seems and explained us the basic terminology and experimental settings of this field.

Unfortunately, our chair Jochen Beyer (Switzerland) had to step down from the Young Scientist Committee. So, the committee had to be rearranged with Sarah Wille (Belgium) as chair, Markus Meyer (Germany) as secretary, and Luke Rodda (USA) as new member. Other members are Kei Zaitsu (Japan), Luca Morini (Italy) Martha Conceira (USA), Rafaël Lanaro (Brasil), and Ariane Wohlfarth.

After the session, a lunch together with the board was provided by the local organisers.

YSC Meeting Report 2015 - Florence

The YS Symposium in the beautiful Firenze kicked off by an introduction of 67 participants from 18 different countries. Unfortunately, the YS Committee chair Jochen Beyer and YSC member Kei Zaitsu could not make it to the meting due to family reasons, but the other YSC members: secretary Sarah Wille, Markus Meyer, Luca Morini, Martha Conceira, Helena Teixeira and Rafaël Lanaro opened the floor for the YS symposium.

It started off with Robert Wennig (Luxembourg), one of TIAFT's mentors, giving a history lesson in toxicology using his stamp collection. His presentation blended the art of science and culture and was part of a new program established by the TIAFT board to get the "old" and the "new" to meet and learn as much as possible from one another. After this interesting history of forensic toxicology through philately, we enjoyed a delicious lunch with the board members in the beautiful congress area garden.

The second part of the YS symposium consisted of three presentations. First, Frank Peters (Germany) gave a talk about the importance of biostatistics for forensic toxicologists. The basic aspects such as sampling of a population as well as types of statistical data were described. Finally, the application and use of descriptive statistics, distributions and hypothesis testing was elucidated. Afterwards, two YS prize winners of the meeting in Argentina, Eva Cuypers (Belgium) and Luke Rodda (Australia) gave an overview of their current research topics. Eva talked about the possibilities and pitfalls of forensic hair imaging using new techniques such as MALDI-MS/MS and TOF-SIMS. Luke described the content of beer, and more in detail the "bitter parts". Now we all know with congeners to detect to prove beer consumption, but also which coloured bottle of beer contains the best hop!

Unfortunately, Helena Teixiera (Portugal) had to step down from the Young Scientist Committee after all her good work. Ariane Wohlfarth (Sweden) will replace her.

YSC Meeting Report 2014 - Buenos Aires

The first TIAFT YS symposium on South American soil was openend by Jochen Beyer in his function as YS chair. Follwing TIAFT YS symposium tradition, the 66 paticipants from 18 countries introduced themselves to the group.

After the first ice was broken, the participants enjoyed (and discussed) 6 scientific presentations, of these 3 presentations were given by speakers from South America. As it was the first meeting in South America, the YS committee organised local presenters in order to introduce “their way” of forensic toxicology.

In the first talk, Mark Chu from Australia presented the evolution of the drugs in driving testing program in Victoria, Australia. This program has been one of the most extensive examples of drug testing and has become an example for many other countries.

In the second presentation, Milena Madry from Sitzerland showed examples of drug testing in the alternative matrices hair and nail, a fast growing field in forensic toxicology.

In the following block of presentaions, M. Josefina Dominguez Cabrera (Argentina), Jose Luiz da Costa (Brasil) and Diana Morino (Columbia) introduced forensic toxicological routine work from their countries.

Finally, long term TIAFT YS committee member Helena Teixera gave some insight into the diffiult fiel of postmortem toxicology and prepared everyones stomach for the upcoming lunch.

After the official part of the symposium, the participants enjoyed a casual lunch with the TIAFT executive board.

Unfortunately, the YS committe had to undergo some refreshments once again. Our three outstanding girls Madeline Montgomery, Nahoko Ushiyama and Sooyeun Lee had to be replaced. The new committee members are:

  • Marta Concheiro, USA
  • Rafael Lanaro, Brasil
  • Kei Zaitsu, Japan

YSC Meeting Report 2013 - Madeira

The current TIAFT YS secretary Jochen Beyer opened the YS Symposium in the name of Madeline Montgomery, the current TIAFT YS chair. Madeline was unfortunately unable to attend the meeting but she sent her best regards to all participants. After the opening of the symposium, TIAFT YS committee member and this year`s conference organiser Helena Teixera welcomed all 75 participants to Madeira and the conference hotel. Already in the first minutes of the conference, Helena presented her excellent organisation skills by reminding the YS committee and all the speakers to the importance of the exact coffee break time. Helena also explained the intentional lack of microphones as an encouragement to everyone to speak up.

Following TIAFT YS tradition, all participants briefly introduced themselves to the group in order to break the ice. A total of 6 talks were presented, covering topics such as novel approaches in metabolism studies, cannabis in driving, drug facilitated sexual assault, and not to forget forensic toxicology in popular culture.

Previous YS award winner Lars Ambach started with a presentation on his research of novel synthesis of drug metabolites, followed by previous YS award winner Markus Meyer. Markus gave an overview of ADME and pharmacogenomics and explained the relevance to clinical and forensic toxicology.

Rebecca Hartman from NIDA presented the important work on cannabis in driving and showed results from a study using a highly sophisticated driving simulator.

During the coffee break, which was exactly on time (at least almost exactly), Helena had organised a surprise cake for the two Young Scientist Committee Members Federica Bortolotti and Simon Elliott that have finally made it into the hall of fame of not so young scientists. Together with some former YSC members and the TIAFT board both Federica and Simon could “celebrate” their achievement.

After the coffee break the symposium continued with some strong science topics. Ariane Wohlfahrt presented another novel metabolism study approach, followed by YSC member Sarah Wille who focused on the practical lab considerations in DSFA cases. Finally Simon Elliott gave his last YSC member presentation, and most participants will agree that it was probably his best talk. Simon finished with a more entertaining topic where he presented the last 50 years of forensic toxicology in popular culture.

As mentioned, 2 TIAFT YS Committee members has been passed on to the not so young scientist. To complete the YS committee again, two new members have been chosen; the new members are: Markus R. Meyer from Germany and Luca Morini from Italy

YSC Meeting Report 2012 - Hamamatsu

Room 31, Act City Hamamatsu, Hamamatsu, Japan
14:00 to 16:30

Attendance: 122 young scientist, including 6 YSC members (Jochen Beyer, Federica Bortolotti, Simon Elliott, Sooyeun Lee, Madeleine Montgomery, Frank Peters, Helena Texeira).

Frank Peters opened the meeting in his functions as president of the YSC and welcomed all attendees to the 50th TIAFT meeting in Hamamatsu. Then everyone briefly introduced themselves to the others, as it is a tradition in TIAFT Young Scientist meetings.

The first presentation of the day was given by YSC member Sooyeun Lee, who spoke about an increasing abuse of anorectics in Korea. Sooyeun's presentation included information on the structures and pharmacology of the anorectic drugs involved and their similarity to established drugs of abuse such methamphetamine. It further addressed the role of hair testing in studying abuse patterns of anorectics.

In the next to talks, last year's YS Award winners for best oral presentation and best poster re-iterated on their award-winning work and also added some new results obtained since the last TIAFT meeting. Eva Saar, last year's best oral presentation awardee, shared her results on stability studies with the drug olanzapine and warned the YS about the problems associated with drug instability in forensic toxicology. She ended her talk with an appetizer for her presentation on postmortem redistribution at this year's TIAFT meeting. Bjoern Moosmann, last year's best poster awardee, presented his work on the isolation and purification of synthetic cannabinoids from herbal mixture sold as legal highs in many countries. Using extraction and purification by flash chromatography, Bjoern was able to isolate pure cannabinoid standards which were used for structure elucidation as well as setting up screening procedures of these drugs in biological fluids.

In the last presentation of the day, Andrew Leibie provided the YS of an update of drugs of abuse trends in Asia. One of the drugs Andrew focused on is the benzodiazepine nimetazepam which even has its own facebook account – and quite a number of "friends". Another drug abuse problem Andrew addressed is the increasing popularity of ketamine as a drug of abuse in many Asian countries.

All four presentations were followed by lively discussions, in which the attendees provided additional information and contributed shared their personal experience with other YS from all over the world. After the closing of the meeting, the YS got ready for the welcoming reception of the main TIAFT meeting, which for many was their first.

This year, the YSC received ten submissions for the best oral presentation award, four for the best published paper award, and only two for the best poster award. These numbers were somewhat disappointed, especially compared the number of submissions in the previous year. The YSC therefore encouraged all YS to submit their abstracts for one of the YS awards at next year's meeting.

YSC Meeting Report 2011 - San Francisco

Salon 1-4, Marriott Marquis, San Francisco
14:00 to 15:45 and 16:15 to 18:00

Attendance: 122 young scientist, including 6 YSC members (Jochen Beyer, Federica Bortolotti, Simon Elliott, Madeleine Montgomery, Frank Peters, Sarah Wille) and SOFT Young Forensic Toxicologist (YFT) committee members.

This year the YS meeting was for the first time held as a joint meeting with the newly formed group of YFT in SOFT. With an attendance of 122 young scientists the turnout was fantastic. Jayne Thatcher (SOFT) and Frank Peters (TIAFT) moderated the YS symposium, that covered two major topics, one being DUID legislation and the other being the rapidly changing new drugs sold as incense, bath salts or simply as legal highs.

The first presentation given by Sarah Urfer (US) was dedicated to DUID legislation in the US and her take home message was that DUID legislation not only differs from state to state but sometimes even between counties. Sarah Wille (Belgium) then provided an overview on DUID legislation in Europe and other parts of the world such as East Asia. Her talk was complemented by Jochen Beyer (Australia) who talked about the situation in Australia. The talks were followed by a lively discussion, one of the major topic being whether legal limits or cut-off could be harmonized throughout the world. While everyone agreed this would be useful from a scientific point view, the chance for achieving this goal was considered small as long as there is no harmonization of legislation.

In the second part of the meeting Sherri Kacinko (US) spoke about emerging drug trends in the US mainly focusing on the increasing use of synthetic cannabinoids and cathinones. Simon Elliott (UK) followed up with the newest trends in his county which has been the origin of new drug trends in the past. To conclude the presentations on this topic, Frank Peters (Germany) reported some results on the prevalence of new drugs in DUID cases in his laboratory. Once again, a lively discussion ensued in which the participants shared their experiences and questions with each other.

The last two presentations were dedicated to two of last year's award winners. Dirk Wissenbach, winner of the TIAFT best oral presentation award, presented his work on the development of an LC-MSn screening procedure covering not only parent drugs but also metabolites. Nahoko Uchiyama, last year’s Springer best poster awardee, concluded the presentations with her talk on the effects of synthetic cannabinoids on EEG power spectra and locomotor activity in rats.

The YSC was very happy to have again received many submissions for the YS best oral (22) and best poster (19) award this year and even more so about the 14(!) entries for the best published paper award.

YSC Meeting Report 2010 - Bonn

Lecture Hall I, Bonn Castle
09:00 to 10:30 and 11:00 to 12:30

Attendance: 7 YSC members (Jochen Beyer, Federica Bortolotti, Simon Elliott, Madeleine Montgomery, Frank Peters, Helena Teixeira, Sarah Wille) and 72 young scientist attendees.

Frank Peters opened the meeting in his functions as president of the YSC and member of the 2010 TIAFT-GTFCh organizing committee welcomed all attendees to the city of Bonn. Then all everyone briefly introduced themselves to the others, as it is tradition in TIAFT YS meetings.

The first presentation of the day was given by Peter Akrill, who provided a very interesting overview on drugs of abuse testing in oral fluid. He covered the physiology of oral fluid production, oral fluid collection, detection windows of important drugs/drug classes in oral fluid, guidelines for oral fluid testing, and last but not least important pitfalls in oral fluid testing.

In the next presentation, YSC member Jochen Beyer spoke about the Australian experience with oral fluid vs urine in workplace drug testing. Jochen reported on a court case involving a "battle" of expert witnesses. One expert witness was a clinical pharmacologist who stated that urine drug testing is superior to oral fluid testing in assessing impairment by drugs at the workplace. The other expert witness was the well-known former YSC president Dimitri Gerostamoulos who stated that a positive oral testing result is more likely to reflect actual impairment at the time of testing than a positive urine testing results. Jochen discussed these and other aspects brought up in the court case and after his presentation the topic was also discussed by the meeting attendees.

After a coffee break, the second half of the YSC meeting was dedicated to postmortem toxicology. YSC member Sarah Wille gave a talk about "drugs in bugs". After providing an overview on the history and potential applications of entomotoxicology (drug analysis in maggots and puparial cases), Sarah presented results of a research project on methadone analysis in puparial cases recently performed in her department.

In the final presentation, YSC member Simon Elliott addressed the important issue of postmortem redistribution. Starting with the history and principles of this phenomenon, he continued with its impact on sample collection and toxicologic interpretation. At the end of his presentation, Simon discussed several examples from his own routine case work, in which postmortem redistribution may have been involved. Simon's talk was extensively discussed by the meeting attendees.

The YS meeting ended with an informal YS lunch at the cafeteria. A novelty this year was that the TIAFT and GTFCh board members joined the YS for lunch allowing the YS to get into contact with leading scientists in their fields.

The YSC was very happy to have received a record number of submissions for the YS best oral (31) and best poster (29) this year, but it was a bit disappointing that only two YS had submitted an original publication for the YS best paper award. It is hoped, that next year more YS will submit their work for the best published paper award.

YSC Meeting Report 2009 - Geneva

Room 3, Geneva Conference Centre
08:90 to 12:30

This year there were almost 80 young scientists present at the annual Young Scientists meeting (now traditionally the first TIAFT even of the annual meeting). The presentations this year included Drug use in Professional Cycling (Dimitri Gerostamoulos), an Overview of the Expert Witness and the American Legal System by Madeline Montgomery, Pharmacology and Toxicology of New Designer Drugs (Frank Peters) and Jochen Beyer spoke about the Analysis of Toxic Alkaloids. This was followed by a splendid traditional Swiss lunch which was organised by our host (older young scientist) Olivier Plaut and his team. There were 39 submissions this year for the YS awards which is a record. It is also terrific to see younger scientists publishing in the literature with 13 papers considered for best published paper.

The committee will undergo some refreshment as Dimitri Gerostamoulos becomes and older scientist. Dr. Frank Peters is now Chairman of this committee with Madeline Montgomery appointed as Secretary. Additional new members include Dr. Jochen Beyer and Dr. Sarah Wille.

Judging by the turnout this year to the YS meeting the Young Scientists Committee has been able to serve its younger members well and will continue to do so. We thank the TIAFT Board for sponsoring this years awards and look forward to seeing you in Bonn.

YSC Meeting Report 2008 - Martinique

Room Tamarin, Hotel La Bateliere, Schoelcher, La Martinique
08:45 to 11:05 and 11:25 to 12:45

Attendance: 5 YSC members (Federica Bortolotti, Simon Elliott, Madeleine Montgomery, Frank Peters, and Helena Teixeira) and 46 young scientist attendees

Frank opened the meeting introducing himself and apologizing for the YSC Chairman Dimitri Gerostamoulos who unfortunately could not attend this year's meeting due to various court appointments and other important issues at home but sent his greetings to the young scientists.

Frank informed the young scientists about the recent changes in the YSC thanking the former members; Serap Annette Akgur, Robert Kronstrand, Marc Lebeau, and Nele Samyn for their hard and excellent work on the committee.

Then all attendees briefly introduced themselves to the others, as it has become a tradition in previous TIAFT Young Scientist meetings.

The first presentation of the day was given by Federica Bortolotti, who presented the highly interesting toxicological findings from the autopsy of the mummy of Cangrande I della Scala, Prince of Verona (1291-1329). Besides some findings attributable to relatively non-toxic herbal compounds, there was evidence of poisoning with digitalis, which would be consistent with contemporary reports of gastro-intestinal symptoms and rapid death despite the apparent good health of the 38 year old deceased. In the following discussion, important aspects like correcting for water loss when analyzing mummified tissue, potential cross-reactivity of immunoassay-based methods for determination of digitalis, and analyte degradation over hundreds of years were extensively discussed.

In the second presentation of the day, Simon Elliott gave an excellent talk on publishing and presenting scientific work. He started with general aspects of why scientists should publish their findings and continued with a detailed discussion of the most important types and different sections of scientific publication. Finally, he addressed the issue on where and how to present scientific work. Again, a lively discussion ensued as to how to choose an appropriate journal for a certain publication, and about the issue of consent from patients and/or authorities when publishing case data.

The third presentation was given by Helena Teixeira who spoke about the role of the toxicologist in autopsies to determine the cause and manner of death. Helena addressed important topics such as obtaining information from the scene of the crime/death, sampling of appropriate material for toxicological analysis, and typical signs of poisoning from the external investigation of the body during autopsy. Helena gave many examples from her own routine cases including many pictures of the respective autopsies. The discussion of Helena's talk was moderated by Lucia Politi from Italy, because the YSC members had to be present at the talk of an oral presentation award candidate at the parallel SoHT meeting. Discussion mainly related to experiences from young scientists from various countries as to whether the forensic toxicologist is usually present or not at autopsies of cases involving potential poisoning. It appeared that in most countries this is obviously not the case but the attendees agreed that it might enhance the quality of forensic toxicological analysis and also the co-operation with the pathologists.

After the coffee break, Sooyeun talked about the determination of measurement uncertainty in toxicological analysis. She began with basic aspects like definitions, equations, fishbone diagrams, etc. and continued with the practical aspects of measurement uncertainty, illustrating the whole process with an example from her recent work on determination of amphetamines in hair samples. Sooyeun's presentation was also extensively discussed. The main topics were the homogeneity of hair samples and the influence of sampling in general on measurement uncertainty and the availability of guidelines for its assessment in different countries.

Frank thanked the speakers for their excellent presentations and the audience for the lively discussion and the large attendance despite parallel sessions. The Young Scientist Meeting was then closed.

YSC Meeting Report 2006 - Ljubljana

August 27, 2006
Meeting started at 13:45, closed at 16:15

Present: Nele Samyn, Sooyeun Lee, Serap Annette Akgur, Robert Kronstrand, Marc Le Beau, Frank Peters
Apologies: Dimitri Gerostamoulos

The young scientists' symposium was held at the Medical Faculty of the University of Ljubljana from 10.00-13.00 on Sunday morning. Approximately 45 young scientists attended the meeting and several were first and second year TIAFT attendants. All YSC members had prepared a short oral presentation but due to the interesting questions and in-depth discussions from the group, only four of them presented during the allocated time:

  • Robert Kronstrand presented a brief report on the SOHT workshop in Vadstena (Sweden) in May of this year and reviewed the basics of hair analysis (sampling, decontamination, segmentation, interpretation) and offered some advice from his own experience.
  • Frank Peters reminded everyone about the IATDMCT young scientists ( and presented extensively the basics of method validation, with emphasis on interpretation and statistical analysis of results. He also showed a list of reference publications to use as a guideline for the proper validation of your new analytical method.
  • Marc Le Beau presented a specific method for the screening of MIVACURIUM and metabolites in post-mortem and clinical samples.
  • Serap Annette Akgur informed us about the importance and the requirements for the introduction of a per se legislation on DUID in Turkey.

The lunch was sponsored by Dade Behring and was kindly organized by Majda and her team.

In the afternoon, the YSC members met to discuss a few items. Marc had other obligations and could not be present during the meeting.

  1. The minutes of last years meeting were accepted.
  2. The TIAFT board has ratified all decisions proposed in the last years report except for the sponsorship of the awards. The YSC needs to continue finding the sponsor money for the three awards. The expenses of a light lunch will be covered by TIAFT; the YSC should submit a budget that has to be approved beforehand by the board. All committee members will help to look for sponsors and Frank and Robert offered to contact the representatives of the companies that were present in Ljubljana.
  3. The YS symposium was a success! There was excellent feedback from the group on the proposed topics and many questions came up that can be used as a basis for next year e.g. written guidelines for qualitative analysis, measurement uncertainty and accreditation. There was also a suggestion to find presenters for next year's symposium from outside the committee and contact them long before the next TIAFT meeting.
  4. Marc, Robert and Nele announced that they will leave the committee next year. To assure continuity and to introduce new potential members of the committee, it would be advisable to step down after the TIAFT meeting in Seattle.
  5. This year there were 16 oral contenders for the best oral, 11 for the best poster and 9 for the best paper. This high number of entries is exceptional and the committee has to work quite hard to come to a decision. It was agreed that the scoring sheets need to be changed and the criteria redefined. Frank has agreed to come up with a proposal.
  6. The system of 'marking' the posters in the competition and informing the moderators about the contenders for the orals has worked splendidly. The committee will try to ask at least one question for the oral presenters if there are no other questions.
  7. The eligibility of the submitted papers needs to be clearly defined i.e. the publication date needs to be specified. There is a proposal to take one month before the last TIAFT meeting until the deadline for the entries of the current TIAFT meeting, with the condition that the paper needs to be at least e-published and available to the scientific community.

YSC Meeting Report 2005 - Seoul

August 29, 2005
Meeting started at 14:15, closed at 16:45

Present: Thomas Kraemer, Olivier Plaut, Marc Le Beau, Dimitri Gerostamoulos, Sooyeun Lee
Apologies: Robert Kronstrand, Nele Samyn, Rebecca Phipps

The young scientists' symposium this year was held at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul Korea, just prior to the main meeting of TIAFT. Approximately 60 young scientists attended the symposium and about 20 people were attending TIAFT for the first time.

We had three presentations from young scientists which included

  • Dr Frank Peters gave an all YS the opportunity to join IATDMCT as young scientists such that the profile of young scientists can be raised in IATDMCT.
  • Dr Thomas Grobosch gave an overview of acute intoxication with two superwarfarin intoxications.
  • Dr Sooyeun Lee gave an overview of the recent trends of marijuana use and the anti-estrogenic effects of smoking cannabis.
  • Andrew Liebe discussed workplace drug testing and the role of the toxicologist in not only the analysis but the further role of scientists in educating the public about drug testing and laboratory confirmations.

The young scientist then had a traditional Korean lunch which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

The TIAFT YSC committee then met to discuss other issues pertaining to the function of the YSC.

  1. The YSC subject to ratification by the board proposes to enforce the age limit of 41 at all future meetings. This also means that through natural selection the committee would undergo some structural changes with the voluntary departure of Thomas and Olivier. The YSC subject to ratification by the board, proposes that Dimitri would be the next president of YSC following the completion of this meeting and that Nele or Robert would assume secretarial duties. The committee is highly appreciative of both Thomas and Olivier's contributions over the last few years.
  2. The YSC subject to ratification by the board, proposes that Sooyeun Lee would join the committee, meaning that we have now an Asian representative.
  3. The YSC subject to ratification by the board, proposes that Dr Frank Peters (GER) and Dr Serap Akgur (TKY) would join the committee in place of Thomas and Olivier.
  4. The YSC subject to ratification by the board, also proposes that three year terms be recommended for the presidency and secretary which means that in 2008 there will be a change in these two official roles. Other members can continue to be part of the committee provide they satisfy the age criteria and maintain an active role in the YSC.
  5. The format of the meeting for Slovenia 2006 would remain the same with a 3-3.5 hour session prior to the main TIAFT meeting and a lunch.
  6. The funds which were passed on to the YSC from Washington 2004 could be used for some of these expenses. It is hoped that the Korean meeting organizers would also contribute to the funds of the YS.
  7. It was also decided that we would improve the open discussion forum by having prepared questions for the young scientists who attended the meeting. Marc agreed to be the moderator of this discussion forum next year in Slovenia.
  8. The YSC also decided that committee members would also be responsible for a small presentation for the 2006 meeting - either by organizing someone to give a presentation or alternately giving a presentation themselves at the next YS symposium.
  9. The YSC subject to ratification by the board, proposes that the committee would no longer be responsible for the procurement of external sponsor funds for the YSC prizes. This conflict of interest particularly for the meeting hosts - who organize sponsorship for the main meeting - means that other sponsors can interfere with the official sponsorship process by sponsoring TIAFT YSC awards. TIAFT should provide the funds for the collective prizes of $1500 USD. This is a small amount of money given the pivotal role this committee plays in securing new young members to TIAFT every year. The number of young scientists attending the YSC symposium in the last three years (Melbourne, Washington and Seoul) has averaged about 60 people. The YS represent the future of TIAFT.
  10. This year there were 12 oral contenders for the best oral; 9 contenders for the best poster and 6 contenders for the best published paper. The number of applicants has grown each year and is a reflection of the increased profile of the YSC.

YSC Meeting Report 2004 - Washington

This year the TIAFT Young Scientists met for a full evening (6-9 pm) during the 42ndTIAFT annual meeting in Washington D.C. As this meeting was during the combined SOFT/TIAFT/FBI Symposium, a record number of young scientists (about 60) attended the meeting which was held in the Capitol Ballroom of the JW Marriott Hotel. The programme consisted of two key presentations, buffet dinner and an open forum discussion.

The two key presentations were:

  • Adam Cawley (AGAL, Sydney - Australia) - "Toxicology of doping control in sports".

    Adam gave a presentation on the toxicology of doping control in sports to the young scientists. He gave a general guide to the analysis of drugs in sport, some pharmacology, latest technologies/methods/research and the medico-legal consequences of sports testing work including the requirements for measurement uncertainty and traceability. While the sports doping control is an applied field of forensic toxicology, these topics are of importance to the broader forensic toxicology community.

    The flow on discussion concerning measurement uncertainty and how to approach an uncertainty budget for method validation and evaluation was one of the highlights of the evening. It was of interest that many young scientists are attempting to deal with this concept as part of the ISO 17025 standards for accreditation.

  • Carolina Troncoso (Colombia)

    Carolina gave us an interesting presentation on the status of drugs - consumption and exportation from the beautiful country of Colombia. This was a fascinating account as it gave us an insight into some of the more common drugs in South America and how some of these drugs, particularly cocaine, are distributed to western markets for consumption.

    This year's forum also enabled young scientists to meet other young scientists for the first time as well as make those attending their first meeting somewhat less daunting than would otherwise be the case. That is why we also believe as a committee it is important to hold the YSC Meeting at the beginning of each conference.

We look forward to Korea in 2005 and seeing new and not so old faces again in Seoul. All suggestions for topics and presentations should be forwarded to the committee via the secretary ( for consideration. The committee will continue to award the best poster, best oral presentation and best paper published. Information on these matters will be distributed before the meeting in Korea and can be found on the website and please also look for our increased presence in the bulletin from now on. And if anyone has any queries please email any of the committee members.

YSC Meeting Report 2003 - Melbourne

This year the TIAFT Young Scientists met for a half day symposium during the 41st TIAFT annual meeting in Melbourne. About 30 young scientists attended the meeting which was held at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine. The programme consisted of two key presentations, case reports and an open forum discussion. This was followed by a traditional "Aussie BBQ" enjoyed by all.

The two key presentations were:

  • Thomas Kraemer (Homburg, Germany) - "Pharmacogenetics".

    After a short introduction on the definition and aims of pharmacogenetics the importance of this new topic for forenisc toxicology was discussed. Genetic polymorphisms were shown as possible reasons for individual differences in drug effects and side effects. Examples for genetic polymorphisms in transport proteins (P-glycoprotein) or metabolizing enzymes (CYP2D6, CYP2C19) were given. At the end of the presentation, the audience had the opportunity to apply their new knowledge on the interpretation of an authentic case of Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault.

  • Marc LeBeau (FBI, USA) - "Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assault".

    A brief overview was given of the challenges facing toxicologists that analyze specimens from victims of DFSA. For the most part, the challenges link back to the effects of the more than 40 drugs used to commit this crime. Some suggestions were given as to how to overcome these challenges, and a fruitful discussion was had afterwards.

Forensic case reports were presented by Jim Gerostamoulos regarding two morphine-related deaths and a drug facilitated sexual assault case involving oxycodone, methamphetamine and barbiturates. Nicole Anastos presented some postmortem data on valproic acid concentrations in serum and vitreous humor. The discussion which followed was open and covered a wide range of topics ranging from cut-offs for delta9-THC quantifications to per se driving laws and the relationship to impairment at the roadside.

An exciting programme is also scheduled for Washington next year at the combined FBI/SOFT/TIAFT meeting in August 2004.

YSC Meeting Report 2002 - Paris

This year the TIAFT Young Scientists met for over 2 hours during the 40th TIAFT annual meeting in Paris. About 50 young scientists attended the meeting. The programme consisted of three presentations and some lively discussion.

The presentations were:

  • Frank T. Peters (Homburg, Germany) - "Bio-analytical method validation".

    Frank discussed some of the pitfalls young scientists are experiencing with regard to the validation of analytical methods. Frank presented some theoretical models, explored statistical applications and gave some examples from his own research in this presentation.

  • Thomas Stimpfl (Vienna, Austria) - "Screening for the general unknown in tissue samples".

    Thomas described a systematic approach to identifying compounds of interest as an initial screening tool for unknowns. Thomas described a systematic approach for the identification of compounds of interest in complex matrices like post-mortem tissues. Through automation of the sample preparation and interpretation of the GC-MS screening data, the throughput of samples could be increased. He gave a brief overview of current literature followed by a demonstration of his own work.

  • Frank Sporkert (Berlin, Germany) - "free topic".

    Frank discussed an anomaly in a recent toxicology proficiency test relating to the analysis of cannabinoids in blood for drug-affected drivers. Frank elaborated on the problem of realistic detection limits in relation to reporting of results - some robust discussion took place, which was encouraging.

This year was marked by the departure of the founding members of the TIAFT YSC. Pascal Kintz, Alain Verstraete, Carmen Jurado, Pierre Marquet and Aldo Polettini have all retired from the YSC. We particularly like to thank Pascal and Alain for all their hard work and their belief in the younger scientists of TIAFT. Carmen, Pierre and Aldo should also be commended for their commitment and input. We shall of course continue to see them at future TIAFT meetings!

The future of the YSC lies not with the president or the secretary but the young scientists themselves. We as a committee will endeavour to meet the demands of young scientists and will promote young scientist activities as best we can. As a result an exciting programme has been planned (10am-5pm, 15th November 2003) for young scientists next year at the TIAFT meeting in Melbourne. This will give us ample time to discuss many themes and have some genuine case presentations and worked examples relating to interpretation of analytical results in forensic toxicology. All suggestions should be forwarded to the committee via the secretary for consideration. Naturally, the committee will continue to award the best poster, best oral presentation and best paper published in 2002. Information on these matters will be distributed before the meeting in Melbourne.

YSC Meeting Report 2001 - Prague

As for established tradition, the TIAFT Young Scientists met for 90 min during the TIAFT annual meeting in Prague. About 40 young scientists attended the meeting.

Nele Samyn presented a quick overview of the Young Scientist Workshop which took place in Gent (Belgium) on last April 6-7, 2001 and which was devoted to oral fluids in toxicology. After Nele's presentation the assembly decided to continue with the organization of such events (perhaps every 2 years) with the aim to promote contacts between the new scientists' generation and to feed their need of education.

The future of the committee has been also discussed. At the time of the TIAFT meeting in Paris most of the Committee's members will be too old to be able to continue in their current office and we are looking for new inputs. The positions of both chairman and secretary will be vacant and therefore I'd like to warmly invite you to contact me if you feel you will be able to go on with the work done by the Committee over the last years.

The next meeting of the Young Scientists is planned to be held in Paris, on Tuesday morning, August 27, 2002 from 10 am to noon. Discussion topics (for example validation procedures, STA, LC/MS ...) are under discussion and must be proposed in advance to Alain Verstraete.

The following topics have been also discussed in Prague:

  • Practical aspects of oral fluid (Nele Samyn, Belgium)
  • Data base of mass spectra (Aldo Polettini, Italy)
  • Capillary electrophoresis in toxicology (Laurence Labat, France)

YSC Meeting Report 2000 - Helsinki

The Young Scientists of TIAFT meet on Monday 14 August in Helsinki, during the annual meeting. All young scientist registered for the meeting was encouraged to attend this specific event.

The meeting started with a buffet proposing drinks and food. This was considered as essential. The scientific part of the YS meeting started by a presentation of Nele Samyn (Belgium) on the pharmacological and analytical aspects of GHB. This was followed by a general discussion on the occurence of GHB in various countries. The new drugs (such as methoxyamphetamine) were also discussed.

Finally, Gianpaolo Brusini presented the idea of a specific part of the TIAFT web devoted to YS. This was largely accepted.

After approval by the Executive Committee of TIAFT, it was decided to organize a workshop for the young scientists, next spring (2001), in Belgium, on a Friday and a Saturday on "Oral fluid in toxicology". Major topics will be:

  • Physiology of saliva
  • Analytical aspects
  • Driving under the influence
  • Workplace drug testing
  • Rehabilitation centers

Information will be available through the Bulletin and Internet. Fees will be very low.

Summary of YS Committee changes
(the inevitable ageing process!)

Following the Seoul meeting in 2005 we said goodbye to Thomas Kraemer (Germany), Olivier Plaut (Switzerland) and Rebecca Jufer (USA) thanking them for their hard work over the last few years especially Thomas who really put this group on the TIAFT map. Thomas will be a hard act to follow.

After the meeting in Seattle 2007 we also said goodbye to the not-so-young scientists Nele Samyn (Belgium) Marc Le Beau (USA), Robert Kronstrand (Sweden), and Serap Annette Akgur (Turkey).

After the meeting in Geneva 2009, we also had to let Dimitri Gerostamoulos (Australia) go to the hall-of-fame of former YS.

We said Sayonara to our dear President Frank Peters (Germany) in Hamamatsu in 2012.

In 2013, Federica Bortolotti (Italy) and Simon Elliot (UK) had the honor of leaving the YS.

At our meeting in Argentina in 2014, Nahoko Uchiyama (Japan) and Sooyeun Lee (Korea) were, despite their look, not so young anymore.

At the Brisbane meeting in 2016, Jochen Beyer (Switzerland) has left the crew.

The TIAFT board and current young scientists committee thanks them for their invaluable contributions over many years.