Published on: 29-02-2020

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February 29, 2020

Later this year, we have an extra special event as the annual TIAFT Meeting is being hosted in Cape Town, South Africa.  This is the first time that the organization meets on the African continent and we hope to help ensure that this is a rewarding event for those that attend.  All TIAFT Members that can attend are encouraged to submit abstracts to help ensure a rich scientific program for this historic event.

To help encourage attendance in Cape Town, the TIAFT Board has increased the number of travel grants it will award for the 2020 Annual Meeting. In recent years, we have limited these grants to 5 to 7 individuals.  For the Cape Town meeting, up to 16 travel grants will be awarded.  For complete details on how to apply, visit the TIAFT website.  The deadline for applications to be received is May 1, 2020.  Applications received after this date will not be considered.

With the TIAFT Annual Conference also comes our Annual Business Meeting.  The 2020 Business Meeting will be very important, as we will hold elections to see who will serve on the next TIAFT Board.  Positions to be decided in Cape Town are President-Elect, Treasurer, Secretary, and three Board Members.  According to our Constitution (Article 3, Section 2), “(a)ny member can nominate candidates for office by writing to the President at least 30 days before the annual Business meeting…”.  The 2020 Annual Business Meeting will be held on November 5th, so the deadline for nominations will be October 5, 2020.  Be thinking about who you think may best serve in these roles and help further move TIAFT in the right direction over the next three years.

Also during the Annual Business Meeting, the current TIAFT Board will propose a minor change to the Constitution. The change impacts the Young Scientist Committee.  In discussions with the committee over the past few months, we have agreed to decrease the upper age limit of what we consider “young scientists” by a year…from 41 years to 40 years of age on the first day of that year’s TIAFT Conference. Since this age limit is specifically listed in the Constitution, the change will require a vote of the membership for this to take effect in 2021.

Another minor change proposed for the Constitution involves our Alan Curry Award winners. During the 2019 Annual Business Meeting, a vote was taken to make all former Curry awardees Honorary Members of TIAFT.  It makes sense that individuals that earn TIAFT’s most-prestigious honor should also be bestowed with TIAFT’s Honorary Membership. Currently, the TIAFT Constitution requires a vote during the Annual Business Meeting for individuals to become Honorary Members.  The proposed change will allow Alan Curry Awardees to become Honorary Members without the formality of a vote each year. 

Hopefully members have recognized the benefit of the relationship we have with Oxford University Press (OUP), the publisher of the Journal of Analytical Toxicology – TIAFT’s Official Journal.  This year will witness the release of two special issues of the journal: one dedicated to the 2018 Annual Meeting in Ghent (January issue) and the other to the 2019 Annual Meeting in Birmingham (July issue). With this new agreement with OUP, we anticipate special issues dedicated to all future annual TIAFT meetings. This is a great opportunity for members to submit their work presented at the annual meetings for publication.  To ensure that these special issues retain the high-quality of articles seen in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology, a Special Issue Editor will be appointed from TIAFT.  The Board has agreed that this prestigious opportunity should go to one of our younger members that has established themselves as a remarkable scientist.  Therefore, the Editor of the Special Issue dedicated to the 2020 TIAFT Annual Meeting will be Luca Morini from Italy. Many of you probably recognize that Luca was the recipient of the 2019 TIAFT Achievement Award in Birmingham.  And that is the approach that the Board would like to carry into the future – that the Achievement Award winner for a given year serves as the Special Issue Editor for the next year.  Congratulations to Luca. Later this year, there will be messages that explain how to submit your research articles for consideration of publication in the TIAFT Special Issue dedicated to the 2020 Annual Meeting.

In closing, thank you for your continued membership in TIAFT.  If you have any comments or suggestions for the TIAFT Board, please communicate them through the email address.

Marc LeBeau, PhD
President, TIAFT