The tradition began back in 2008, when holiday cards began arriving from Pardis Sabeti’s friends; they were settling down, getting married, starting families, and sending the photographic evidence. She wasn’t married then, but Sabeti felt like she, too, was starting a family. “I felt like the proud mom of a growing, amazing new lab,” she wrote in an e-mail.
So the systems biology professor at Harvard University decided to send out a lab holiday card. That first year, she went to Kmart and bought holiday sweaters and other festive garb. She and her students and postdoctorals then took a photo to share with friends and colleagues.