2017 has been a really exciting year that was full of momentous events for the Faltas Lab. These were some highlights from last year:The Faltas Lab came into existence at Weill-Cornell in 2017 ( officially only a month ago). We are one of only a few labs in the world that focus on studying the basic biology of bladder cancer and we are hoping that next year will bring new discoveries that will help patients with this horrible disease. This is our lab website https://faltaslab.weill.cornell.edu/It was hard to see my mentor Mark Rubin move across the Atlantic to direct the Department for Biomedical Research at the University of Bern in Switzerland. Thank you, Mark, for being such a generous mentor and a force for good. Our lab team is rapidly growing. There is a few of us now (Bishoy, Rebecca, David, Kevin, Panos, and Lamont). We anticipate that two postdoctoral fellows will join us over the next few months.Our Nature Genetics paper on the clonal evolution of urothelial carcinoma which was published at the end of 2016 started to garner citations. According to Google Scholar, it has now been cited 29 times! https://www.nature.com/articles/ng.3692We are now federally funded! I got the Department of Defense 3-year Career Development Award ( yes, that comes with indirect costs) https://news.weill.cornell.edu/news/2017/07/dr-bishoy-faltas-wins-prestigious-grant-from-the-department-of-defense. We thank the DoD , the taxpayers and the foundations who support important bladder cancer research.Rebecca is growing into her role as the lab manager. Kevin is capably leading our mouse work and David is becoming proficient in several new techniques. We are all growing and learning new things every day.Ethan Shelkey, was accepted into the Ph.D. program at Wake Forest University Graduate school and got married!Lamont's poster "Integrin signaling modulation demonstrates potential therapeutic strategy in #BladderCancer using 3D organoid culture" won the 1st place winner in the poster competition in the Society for Urologic Oncology (SUO) annual 2017 meeting.Panos presented several posters including a poster at the American Urological Association (AUA). I predict that 2018 will be a very productive year for him on several fronts.We presented six posters at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting, all focusing on bladder cancer.Bishoy was selected as one the AACR's 2017 NextGenStars http://www.aacr.org/Meetings/Pages/MeetingDetail.aspx?EventItemID=105&DetailItemID=544We published a paper on the role of metastasectomy in urothelial carcinoma https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1W8uP3r93nDIkM We are hoping this will start a vibrant discussion and hopefully in the future, a randomized trial to test the efficacy and safety of this intervention.We are very excited that our work on cell cycle alterations in bladder cancer http://www.abstractsonline.com/pp8/#!/4292/presentation/5420 has led to an investigator-initiated clinical trial of a CDK4/6 inhibitor in bladder cancer patients. We anticipate that it will open for patients in 2018, stay tuned for more updates. I gave several invited talks this year and was on the road quite a bit. This included talks at the Johns Hopkins Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute ( where I was fortunate to meet the legendary Donald Coffey, only a few months before his passing), the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Fox-Chase Cancer Center, Vanderbilt University and the Ohio State University Cancer Center. I enjoyed every single one of these visits. This was a wonderful opportunity to present our research to the world, to meet new people and to establish friendships and collaborations.I really enjoyed being the discussant for several oral abstracts at the ASCO GU Clinical Science Symposium in my talk “ Unlocking the Genome: Insights Into Risk and Response in Bladder Cancer.” I made the point in 2017, we have hit the trifecta. New biological insights into bladder cancer, new treatments, and perhaps most importantly, new investigators. Science moves forward with fresh insights from eager young minds.Final thoughts: It was a hard but productive year. I am thankful for having such wonderful colleagues, trainees, mentors, and patients who make this journey worthwhile.