Published on: 24-11-2014

Dear TIAFT friends,

I am honored and privileged to serve as your 13th president. First of all, I would like to thank all members, former presidents and board members for your effort and passion to raise TIAFT up to where it is today. For the past 52 years your hard work, strong desire, and selfless service made it possible for TIAFT to become the most precious, influential, and family like association in the world. I am very much grateful to you all.

I would like to share one story with you about the power of Forensic Toxicology and TIAFT. This past October, when Korea hosted the IAFS meeting in Seoul, there were 1,600 participants. Guess which session was the biggest among 12 sessions including forensic pathology and DNA? The Toxicology session was the biggest. Many former presidents of IAFS were surprised to see the huge number of attendees in the Toxicology session. All of them told me that they had never seen that large of a toxicology session in the history of IAFS. At that moment, I felt incredibly proud of being a Forensic toxicologist and TIAFT member. I greatly appreciate the help from our TIAFT friends who contributed to making the meeting a resounding success. They came all the way to Korea to support and help us. Their dedication showed the power of TIAFT and of Forensic Toxicology.

As your new president, I would like to pursue three things during my presidency.

To start, as the first president from Asia, I would like to add oriental thought into the TIAFT system. In Asia we always give priority to our seniors. We continuously communicate with them and treasure their knowledge and experience even after they have retired. Therefore, I propose to have a mentoring program between experienced scientists and young scientists. I would like to invite retired forensic toxicologists to join this program. I am sure you will agree that it is very important to transfer and treasure the knowledge and experience of retired forensic toxicologists. Through this program young scientists will learn not only scientific knowledge, but also about the wisdom of life. I will discuss with our webmaster Gianpaolo how we can put this program on our website and inform you about our progress very soon. Let’s make it happen!

Secondly, I would like to continue to have board meetings in locations where there currently are not many forensic toxicologists like in Africa and Central America. It will be a great asset for TIAFT to have more members from these regions. I think it is the best way to positively influence and support our friends from developing countries. Let’s do it! 

Thirdly, I would like to work with you to find ways to encourage young scientists to become more involved in Forensic Toxicology. Therefore, I will help the Young Scientists committee in any way I can. In addition, as the second woman president, I would like to ask you to encourage young woman to get involved in Forensic Toxicology. They will be the future of Forensic Toxicology. Let’s help them!

Finally, I would like to thank Alain Verstraete for doing a wonderful job as president of TIAFT. His gentle, warm, and thoughtful leadership increased the status of TIAFT. We are very lucky to have had him as our president; we will miss your leadership. Thank you very much for your great effort.

I will do my best to lift forensic toxicology higher by creating a deeper level of collaboration and a stronger global network of support with new board members. Let’s all move towards a brighter future for TIAFT and Forensic toxicology. Together we can do it! Thank you.

Heesun Chung,
TIAFT President