Toxicology Section News – September 2015

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the articles contained in the Academy News are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Academy.

Source:  Dan T. Anderson, MS, Section Secretary

It is often said that the one and only constant in life is “Change.”

And this year’s theme for the 2016 Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, NV, is Transformation: Embracing Change. As leaders in forensic toxicology, our success or failure can hinge upon how well we are able to facilitate change and how we assist the members of our team to adapt to and appreciate these changes. In a laboratory setting, we are constantly changing to make improvements – whether it’s a lab’s scope of testing, implementation of new methodology, or even the possibility of how we change our approach to a case and try to remove some inherent human bias. The theme of Embracing Change is very timely as the Academy improves its functionality by becoming a Standards Developing Organization (SDO) for better effectiveness for the forensic science community as a whole.

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!

The time is now for you to be making plans to join us in Las Vegas’s desert oasis as we celebrate “Change.” Section Program Chair, Fiona Couper (, and Co-Chair, Nikolas Lemos (, continue to work behind the scenes to bring the Toxicology Section an outstanding program. Traditionally, special sessions of Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID) topics, the joint session of Toxicology and Pathology/Biology, and Pediatric Toxicology will be on the program schedule. By the time this edition of the Academy News is posted, the deadline for workshops and abstract submission for the 2016 meeting will have passed and the peer-review process will be well under way. The Annual Toxicology Lectureship is being planned along with the 4th Annual Toxicology Luncheon and its festivities. Sarah Kerrigan and I would like to acknowledge and thank the efforts of Nikolas and Fiona as they have a huge job. They both deserve a lot of credit for securing section financial sponsorship and keeping within the tight AAFS deadlines. Official acceptance letters for abstracts from AAFS will be mailed by mid-November and the Advance Program will be published in November as well.

The Toxicology Section membership continues to maintain its numbers, but there is always room for improvement. Please encourage your non-member colleagues to apply; the career benefits of membership outweigh the small initial cost. The application process is completely online ( and details are located on the AAFS website.

Additionally, our section members of any status (Trainee or Student Affiliates, Associate Members, Members, and Fellows) need to determine if they are eligible for promotion, and if so, complete the application process. Some section activities (e.g., section officer or committee chair) require full Member or Fellow status in order to participate. If you discover that you are not yet eligible for promotion, you can fulfill some of the promotion requirements by participating in meetings as an attendee, presenter, moderator, or volunteer. Please contact Nikolas or Fiona for volunteer opportunities such as moderating a session. The deadline for receipt of all membership application and promotion materials is October 1.

Viva Las Vegas—hope to see you there!