A Message from Peter Di Marco, October 2020
As we continue to monitor the global health crisis due to the spread of COVID-19, we look to our partner in the World Health Organization (WHO) and urge you to look here for the latest COVID-19 updates as well. IUTOX is a Nongovernmental Organization (NGO) in official relations with WHO and continues to work with regional committees and representatives to gather and disseminate critical information to our members relating to global health. The IUTOX Executive Committee continues to meet every quarter via teleconference to discuss crucial matters for IUTOX management and growth to remain active and productive during a time when in-person networking has been put on hold. We hope to bring you enhancements to our services within the coming months, including additional options for membership dues payments and a series of educational webinars featuring original content from IUTOX representatives.
Our Member Societies and partners are part of a unique community capable of improving the quality of human health; this we can be better achieved by working together. For example, as you may all be aware, Member Societies deferred or cancelled their Annual scientific Meetings (ASM) from March 2020 onward because of the consequential restrictions to minimise the risks of the COVID 19 pandemic. This has led to the development of virtual ASM and webinars on various scientific topics for individual society members and non-members. Access to this information is much easier and cheaper than face to face meeting. Despite its obvious drawbacks, we are productive and increase scientific knowledge, and importantly, promoting the role of toxicology in the management of chemicals in Public Health. I encourage the Member Societies to share and contribute to these virtual scientific activities in our community and register for ASM and webinars on individual topics. The available webinars may be found on the website of Member Societies or in this newsletter, if submitted by the Member Society.
IUTOX is pleased to partner once again with Wiley to present the IUTOX Lifetime Achievement Award to an individual who has been crucial in supporting the mission of IUTOX throughout their career. This award is a regular feature of CTDC meetings and honours a distinguished scientist who has made lasting contributions to toxicology in countries where toxicology is under-represented. The Lifetime Achievement Award would not be possible without the generous support of our official sponsor Wiley, the publisher of Current Protocols in Toxicology. This award will be conferred on a recipient during the opening ceremony at the 11th Congress of Toxicology in Developing Countries in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (June 2021). Please Submit your nomination by December 15, 2020.
Local organizers are making plans to hold the 11th Congress of Toxicology in Developing Countries (CTDC11), co-hosted by the Malaysian Society of Toxicology (MySOT), in Kuala Lumpur from 13–16 June 2021. An exciting slate of session proposals have been received and are now under review to bring you the most up-to-date and pressing topics of the day. The various planning committees are working hard to bring you an exciting and relevant scientific program in a one-of-a-kind venue. Sessions are planned in-person for those able to travel to the region, and there will also be virtual content provided for ease of access. The Congress’ theme, Multidisciplinary Approaches in Toxicology Towards Supporting Sustainable Development Goals, reflects the commitment of Malaysia and the South East Asia (SEA) region to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Check back to the IUTOX website regularly to see updates on CTDC11 news and travel award offerings.
With the invaluable local planning of IUTOX Vice President Nursen Basaran, IUTOX is also excited to bring you the next iteration of the IUTOX Risk Assessment Summer School (RASS) in Istanbul, Turkey, tentatively planned for October 2021. Between International Congresses, IUTOX sponsors advanced training for selected postgraduate and postdoctoral toxicologists in risk assessment, through RASS workshops. The IUTOX RASS workshops are unique in their structure, wherein trainees participate in active problem-solving with real life examples of public health over the course of intensive multi-day training sessions with experienced scientists. Stay tuned for more details as plans unfold!
Annual dues from our Member Societies remain the principal source of revenue for IUTOX to fund educational programs, a yearly face-to-face meeting, and to provide travel awards and hosting of the ICT and CTDC meetings around the world. As always, I would be pleased to hear from you how IUTOX can provide the education or resources that will allow your societies to deal with the present crisis and receive the training needed to address the pressing issues of your country. As we continue to navigate the shaky landscape of the current crisis and a post-COVID-19 world, I hope to remain in touch and work together to improve public health.
I am certain that we will see each other again soon under much better circumstances. I wish you good health for yourselves, your families, and your communities. Please feel free to contact me through the IUTOX Secretariat at any time to discuss your needs with IUTOX or how we may work better together to achieve our respective objectives. IUTOX will also continue to receive your news and events for distribution to the IUTOX community.
Peter Di Marco
2019–2022 IUTOX President