Published on: 17-02-2018

Dear TIAFT members,

The above quote is from John McGraw, a famous U.S. baseball player from the early 20th century who went on to become one of baseball’s most successful managers. McGraw knew the importance of a team starting off on the right foot in order to have success.  In that regard, I am happy to report that in just a little more than a month after the election of the new TIAFT Board of Directors, we are off to a great start! We have already had our first meeting (via Skype) and have our second such meeting already scheduled. The Board is working to define the specific elements within the strategic plan that I shared with you in my last message. One of our first efforts will be to better coordinate our communications with the TIAFT membership through the Communications Committee. Our hope is that through improved communications, you will be better informed of the activities and initiatives of TIAFT.

Once a year, the TIAFT Board holds an in-person Mid-Year Board Meeting to focus on TIAFT initiatives. We try to hold these meetings in a part of the world where the local toxicologists find it difficult to attend the larger, annual TIAFT Conference.  And since we will be there, we encourage the TIAFT Regional Representative, a local toxicologist, or a group of toxicologists to coordinate a TIAFT Regional Meeting. This provides an opportunity for the Board to provide lectures during the Regional Meeting and fulfills the TIAFT aim of promoting education and training in forensic toxicology.  It also allows us to try to improve the organization’s membership from these parts of the world.

This May, the TIAFT Board will hold its Mid-Year Meeting in Athens and will participate in the first regional TIAFT meeting in Greece. This will be a great opportunity for toxicologists, pathologists, police experts, attorneys, and others to learn from the expertise of the TIAFT leadership and understand the organization’s benefits. Many thanks go to TIAFT’s Regional Representative from Greece, Professor Sotiris Athanaselis, as well as Professor Chara Spiliopoulou from the National and Kapodistrian University in Athens, for their efforts in organizing the regional meeting. I encourage TIAFT members from Greece, Turkey, Italy, and all the Balkans to consider attending this regional meeting for a fabulous continuing education opportunity.  And since a part of the current TIAFT Strategic Plan is to increase membership from Southeast Europe, the Board will be actively recruiting the non-members in attendance to join our organization. More information about this meeting can be found at:

And do not forget our next TIAFT Annual Meeting which will be held in Ghent, Belgium in late August.  The co-organizers, Sarah Wille and Christophe Stove, continue to work tirelessly to ensure all attendees will have an excellent educational experience with plenty of networking opportunities. Visit the TIAFT 2018 website at for more information.

In closing, I have one small request for each of you.  As we continue to improve the TIAFT membership database, we recently standardized the format of the address fields.  Please take a few minutes to login to the Member Secure Area of the TIAFT website to ensure that your mailing address is correctly listed within the new address field names and that your information is current. This is particularly important for Bulletin mailings. 

Until next time, please know that the TIAFT Board is committed to “winning” in the coming year.  I hope that you’ll be there to cheer us on!

Marc LeBeau, PhD
President, TIAFT

Photo of John McGraw by unknown photographer. It is modified from a photograph of Stanley "Bucky" Harris shaking hands with John McGraw on the top step of the New York Giants dugout on 4 October 1924.