Published on: 04-12-2016

Dear TIAFT Members:

I was privileged and delighted to attend two TIAFT regional meetings in just three weeks time from October to November. First, I attended the second TIAFT meeting in Turkey. The meeting was held under the leadership of Serap Annette Akgür and Nebile Daglioglu from 30 October to 2 November, 2016 in Antalya. It was a huge success with 120 participants from 11 countries. The theme of the second meeting was to point out the importance of toxicology in a large number of fields aiming to communicate and establish links to new research ideas. It was truly a great opportunity to share experiences, explore new directions and learn about recent developments in Forensic Toxicology. Antalya was beautiful with wonderful weather. It is located in the South of Turkey and inherits historical traces of great civilizations coupled with natural beauty. I was very much marveled by the richness of culture and the beauty of nature in Antalya. On behalf of TIAFT, I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to Serap and Nebile for hosting the second regional meting in Turkey. Their hard work, selfless service, and strong desire made it a highly beneficial event for each and every participant.

From 9 to 12 November, Freddy Arias successfully hosted the 12th Regional TIAFT meeting in San Jose, Costa Rica. It was the first time that a TIAFT Regional Meeting was hosted in a Central American or Caribbean country. Freddy Arias did an amazing job coordinating a great regional meeting that also included a workshop day. He did this despite all the difficulties. During the meeting, there were excellent poster and oral sessions by the young scientists in addition to the various plenary lectures. The most important part of the meeting was a 2-hour session with 10-min presentations by young scientists with a long discussion of each presentation. All board members who attended the meeting were delighted to see the high quality of science presentations and discussion. Everything was right on schedule. Costa Rica was very attractive with so many amazing places to visit. Personally I was amazed to see the color of coffee beans, which I had never seen before. It was the time to ripen from green to red. The most impressive thing was that people were so friendly and cared for all participants. All participants enjoyed the meeting very much thanks to new friends, especially Freddy in Costa Rica. Thank you very much, Freddy for your wonderful job to host the 12th meeting. I would also like to thank Mauricio Chacón, Director del Departamento de Ciencias Forenses, Organismos de Investigación Judicial Poder Judicial and Lidiette Fonseca, Decana, Facultad de Farmacia Universidad de Costa Rica for supporting the meeting.   

I would like to mention one more thing about the regional meeting in South America. Because it is not easy to host the regional meeting on one continent for more than 10 years, I was immensely proud of our friends in Latin America for their enthusiasm and passion to host the meeting every year. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the former organizers in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia Uruguay and Peru for hosting the meeting in years past. Thanks to their efforts, this meeting continues to advance our profession and it will continue to be held in this region every year.

Now let me move to an important TIAFT matter. I am also very pleased to inform you that you are going to receive the bulletin, which was issued by our new editors, Sarah and Jennifer very soon. They did a wonderful job to produce the bulletin. On behalf of TIAFT, I would like to convey my sincere thanks to them. In this issue of the Bulletin, you will find an article about a constitutional change of the term limit of board members. As indicated, you will receive an email from 1 March 2017 for your opinion on this matter.  

Now let me tell you about progress regarding the joint TIAFT-UNODC initiative on collection of toxicology data of NPS. Justice Tetty, chief of UNODC has worked very hard to make this program possible. You will have a chance to read his brief report of this initiative on NPS in the Bulletin. In addition, his paper “Toxicology in international drug control – prioritizing the most harmful, persistent and prevalent substances” will be published in the Forensic Science International on the special issue of the Brisbane meeting. He will have his IT team develop the portal for collecting toxicology data of NPS. The data reporting form will be available shortly. The board will communicate with Justice to make inputting the date simple and easy.

Lastly, the board is working very hard to support the travel grants to standard members as well as DCF members. When it is ready, it will be announced on our website.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you wonderful holiday season in December. Merry Christmas!

Dr. Heesun Chung,
President, TIAFT