Published on: 23-04-2011

Dear Members,

Since my last message the TIAFT board had its annual main meeting in Zagreb, Croatia. Dr Miran Coklo, the local host, and new regional representative for Croatia, invited the board to Zagreb and organised a symposium on forensic toxicology for the region. Attendees at the 2-day symposium included people from Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Bulgaria with the support of a number of sponsors (see our web page for more details) and senior members of medico-legal institutions, the police forensic laboratory and the minister for science, education and sport. The board formally thank Miran for organising this highly successful event in a lovely city. It is hoped that this will lead to a regional forensic toxicology organisation that can hold regular scientific forums for local members in the region.

The board discussed the business of the Association and its current activities and made a number of decisions. These included:

  1. Continue to promote book donation program for developing countries members but we need to increase awareness including better promotion on our web site.
  2. Continue development of the web site including the addition of all of the older bulletins and to allow searching for contents. To this end Dr Dimitri Gerostamoulos and Dr Jochen Beyer have completed scanning of all of the older bulletins they have. These will be available soon on the web site. Copies of a number of the very early volumes are not available for scanning – most of the first several years. If any members have copies of these could you please contact Dimitri or Jochen.
  3. Convene a new committee to progress development of the database (therapeutic/toxic/fatal concentrations). The terms of reference were previously shown to members (see section on this activity in web site). Current committee members will be me as chair, Donald Uges, Marc Augsburger, and Michael Robertson. Any others members wishing to be on this committee please contact me. While development of this database occurs it was decided to take off the current database from the web. The board felt that there was insufficient information in the database doe data to be properly used, particularly to those people with less knowledge over the limitations of such data and this had the potential to misinform recipients of the information.
  4. Development of criteria for the selection of the Achievement Award. This will be posted separately on the web site.
  5. The perennial issue of our logo and which one to use was again discussed. It was resolved that TIAFT engage the services of a professional designer to come up with a new or revised logo that would be supported by our membership. I hope we can have some design options available for the next business meeting in San Francisco for members to look at and hopefully decide on which one to use.
  6. A number of new regional representatives were appointed:
    a. Dr Miran Coklo (Croatia)
    b. Prof Marilyn Huestis (as second USA RR)
    c. Dr Frank Peters (Germany)
    d. Dr Mareta Ibragimova (Uzbekistan)
    e. Dr Yi Ju Yao (Singapore)
  7. Increase the value of DCF travel grants to annual meeting to USD 2,000 plus the cost of the registration fee to attend the meeting. Applications for travel awards have closed (April 1). We have had 14 applications for travel grants. A decision will be made soon.

I would like to reassure members that while the North East of Japan are suffering from the outcomes of the horrendous Tsunami that hit Japan last month, the organisers of the 2012 meeting in Southern Japan in Hamamatsu do not expect any problems with their combined TIAFT annual meeting with the Japanese Society (JAFT). I hope to see as many of you as possible in Japan next year to support, not only the Association but also the Japanese themselves.

In addition I would like to remind members that we will have out triennial elections for members of the board at the San Francisco meeting. Members are able to nominate other members for positions on the board. Applications (with approval of the person being nominated) need to be sent to be (by e-mail) in advance of the meeting. I will list all nominations in advance of the business meeting together with a short biography of each nomination.

For those of you who celebrate Easter, happy holidays.

Until next time.

Olaf Drummer
TIAFT President