Greetings from Tokyo where the cherry blossoms have bloomed and ushered in beautiful spring weather!
With the first full year of the 2016–2019 term underway, the Executive Committee has been busy with a number of activities. We held our first EC meeting in Baltimore in March during the SOT Annual Meeting, Vesna Matovic and Peter Di Marco convened the first CTDC10 scientific program committee meeting, SOT reported on the great progress they are already making on organizing ICTXV in Honolulu, Hawaii, and we met with the leadership of several societies and other friends of IUTOX.
Front row left to right: Silvia Barros, Barbara Hales, Nursen Basaran, Lijie Fu; Back row left to right: Salmaan Hussain Inayat-Hussain, Peter Di Marco, Dieter Schrenk, Werner Kobel, Jun Kanno (Not shown: Yoshito Kumagai)
IUTOX also organized another Global Collaboration Coffee event, kindly hosted by SOT, where we featured a panel to discuss Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were established by the United Nations and adopted by numerous international organizations including WHO. With 17 “Global Goals” and 169 targeted activities to choose from, IUTOX focused on the issues of reducing non-communicable diseases; risk assessment and systematic reviews; green chemistry; and mentorship and educational resources. Please see a complete report on the IUTOX website.
In February, I released a survey to IUTOX member societies to ask for your answers to several important questions, including:
- Please let me know what are the top three most important topics facing your society in the field of Toxicology. (For example, in Japan, there is a sharp increase in certain disorders in children and even the population of children is decreasing. While it is difficult to prove, this increase might be linked to chemical exposure.)
- Please let me know your opinion of CTDC and ICT meetings and your ideas to improve them.
- Please let me know what other types of programming you expect from IUTOX other than CTDC and ICT.
- Is your society able to dedicate financial resources to create joint programming with IUTOX?
- Is there any activity you recommend that IUTOX can do with your society without cost?
I received many replies and thank everyone who took the time to send me your thoughts and ideas. The most common theme identified by societies large and small is the need for more toxicology courses and training at the college and university level. I also heard from you about the importance of IUTOX continuing to provide resources and information to the toxicology community at large with special requests for webinars, travel awards, and research funding opportunities. The idea of joint programming between IUTOX and member societies was well received, especially for specific training on “hot topics” or courses leading to earning one of the many certifications offered by member societies. With the political landscape changing in many countries around the word, there is an interest in receiving more information to better understand the effects of changing governments and their leaders on science.
Your ideas and comments have informed me and the EC about the work we need to do over the next three years. I have asked the EC to review the survey results, to be responsive where we can and to identify new partnerships with our member societies to advance common needs and interests. We will need your help and hope you will get involved when you and your organizations are called upon to work with us. With stretched resources in every part of the world, it is imperative to work together and to find the strength in our numbers!
2016–2019 IUTOX President