If imitation is the highest form of flattery then hopefully João Xavier won't mind that we've decided to follow in his lab tradition of designing an annual lab mug. Admittedly our quick adoption of this tradition was facilitated by the fact that my husband was at the time working for Shutterfly, and custom mugs were easily acquired at a steep discount! This inaugural 2016 mug depicts two of our favorite entities of study, commensal skin bacteria and adaptive immune cells (let's presume they're T cells). In the background there is a stylized photo of my son Bryce as a newborn - with his skin covered in bacteria. It's fun for me to imagine his commensals and immune system figuring it all out in these early stages of development.