Published on: 20-03-2011

Dear Members,

A few days ago on behalf of all members I extended our deepest sympathies to Professor Osamu Suzuki, the president of the Japanese Association of Forensic Toxicology and representative of the Japanese forensic toxicologists, on the enormous disaster that has occurred in Japan from the Earthquake and Tsunami.

I am sure all of us are most upset over the enormous loss of life and hope that all of the current consequences of the Tsunami do not get worse. This comes 2 weeks after the earthquake that almost destroyed Christchurch, the second largest city in New Zealand, and also killed many people.

On a more pleasant note you will hopefully have seen the significant improvements made to the TIAFT website by Gianpaolo Brusini and others on the web committee. I hope all of you are using it to its most optimum. Currently Dimitri Gerostamoulos and Jochen Beyer are scanning old Bulletins to be loaded onto the web site with improved search functionality. This should be completed later this year, although there may be still some missing volumes. Kneale Kimber (a past treasurer from the UK) has kindly agreed to send his old editions to Dimitri and Jochen to scan. If anyone else has old copies please contact them in case they are missing from their collection.

The board will meet in a little over a week in Zagreb to hold its annual board meeting. It will also hold a symposium with invitees from the neighbouring countries including the Balkans. Dr Miran Coklo is organising these events and we thank him greatly for agreeing to do this and help to increase the TIAFT presence in this region.

A reminder to register (and send in abstracts) for the combined SOFT/TIAFT meeting in San Francisco. See the web site for details. The preliminary program is quite extensive with a number of workshops preceding the meeting.

Also a reminder for those members from developing countries to submit requests for travel scholarships. Details are available on the web site. We will have more scholarships available this year due to the kind donation from the Bonn organisers and to NIDA (Dr Marilyn Huestis).

Shortly there will also be toxicology meetings in Chamonix (SFTA/SOHTcombined meeting with a one-day combined meeting with TIAFT) (week of March 21) and the Group of Italian toxicologists (GiFT) in Desenzano, italy (April 1-3). I will be present for the TIAFT day in Chamonix (courtesy of the SFTA and SOHT organisers) and will also attend the Desenzano meeting (courtesy of Dr Aldo Polettini). I hope to see many of you there.

Best wishes

Olaf Drummer
TIAFT President