Published on: 21-10-2011

Three weeks ago, the annual meeting came to a close in San Francisco. It was a fantastic meeting with 1400 attendees, probably the largest forensic toxicology meeting ever. I would like to thank Nik Lemos, Ann-Marie Gordon, the organizing and scientific committees for making this meeting a big success.

During the business meeting, a new board was elected.

The new board members are:

  • Heesun Chung (Korea) as president-elect
  • Olaf Drummer (Australia) as past-president
  • Dan Isenschmid (USA) as secretary
  • Marc Lebeau (USA) as treasurer
  • Carmen Jurado (Spain), Hans Maurer (Germany) and Robert Kronstrand (Sweden) as board members,
  • and myself

The picture above shows the new TIAFT board. From left to right: Carmen Jurado, Marc Lebeau, Dan Isenschmid, Robert Kronstrand, Alain Verstraete, Heesun Chung, Hans Maurer, Olaf Drummer

During my presidency I will work to maintain the TIAFT traditions in changing times. What are the TIAFT traditions? Already at the time of founding 48 years ago it was said that TIAFT should be a forum for the rapid interchange of information. The Internet facilitates this enormously nowadays. Another of the TIAFT traditions was stated in 1969: That the Association is informal and the Bulletin is the only service to members. I want to keep the association informal, and give all the support needed to the editors to continue to have the Bulletin three times per year, with many pages filled with articles of a high scientific level, and improve it where possible. With the website, the annual and regional meetings, we now also have other services for the members.

One of the main focus areas of my presidency will be to continue and enlarge the initiatives that TIAFT has for the developing countries. There is such a great need of knowledge that TIAFT can bring. The free DCF membership is unique among the societies that I know. We have now received considerable means from the GTFCh to do more for the developing countries, and I encourage members to submit proposals for regional meetings and workshops to the board.

We will also establish a forum on the website for research visits, PhD and postdoc programs, where interested parties (scientists in the developing world, laboratories in the developed world) can post their résumés and programs. Links to other sources of funding will also be added to this forum.

In the next few months, we will add e-learning, podcasts and/or webinars on different subjects, made by TIAFT members for the other Members. These will be on the pages reserved for members. Members who have podcasts or who are ready to produce one, please contact me.

I look forward to work with the board in the next three years, and I am sure it will be great fun.

Alain Verstraete,
TIAFT President