SPRING 2017 HOT NEWS FROM INSIDE OMRF
Launching a Lab: Ready or Not, Here I Come!
Any time you move from one place to another, test tubes and flasks needed in the lab, Dave also
dozens of little details emerge during the process. had to move his worm colony without upsetting their
From kitchen gizmos to clothes and everything you delicate balance or losing any in the process. Even
meant to throw away in your garage, the list of items a minor hiccup, he knew, could put his research on
to wrangle tends to grow exponentially. hold for months.
So imagine how complicated it can get when you “You realize very quickly just how much goes into
move not just your home but also a fully functioning getting that lab up and running,” says Dave. “From
laboratory—along with thousands of tiny creatures big-ticket items like subzero freezers and incubators
vital to your research. down to the specific brands of pipettes and lab
gloves you like, the to-do list only gets longer no
That’s the challenge researcher Dave Forsthoefel matter how many boxes you check off.”
faced when he left the University of Illinois at Urbana
Champaign last summer to join OMRF’s Functional Luckily, as soon as the ink dried on Dave’s
and Chemical Genomics Research Program in acceptance letter, the gears were in motion in
August. anticipation of his arrival at OMRF.
In the lab, Dave studies regeneration, the ability “Once scientists accept their offers, IT immediately
to repair or replace damaged tissues, in freshwater gives them an OMRF email address and we start
flatworms called planarians. Besides the requisite prepping for every eventuality on our end,” says
OMRF Human Resources Vice President Courtney
Small World Stevens Greenwood.
At Ohio State University, Dave worked on HR works to show new scientists like Dave exactly
his Ph.D. in the lab of Dr. Mark Seeger, where all their resources are so they are comfortable
who was a scientist in OMRF’s from the start, says Courtney. “We connect them to
Molecular Biology Research
Program from 1992 to 1997. the right folks to cover everything they could ever
need to get them here so they can get to work
as quickly as possible.”
continued on page 2
Lab Launch cont. Worm Welcome
To establish a new lab like Dave’s, OMRF often Planarians require special artificial pond
relies on a company called Lab Launch to coordinate water to keep them happy. And you can’t
the move. Lab Launch consultant Betsy Manos just toss them a lettuce leaf for lunch. These
talked with Dave extensively and handled all the guys eat a diet of beef liver. Luckily, in a
logistics on the OKC end, from ordering lab supplies cattle-oriented state like Oklahoma, Dave
to coordinating delivery, so when he walked in the quickly found a local organic beef liver
door, his lab would be stocked and ready to go. supplier. So his 3,000 tiny friends are now
Dave had to find a new place to live in a brand living large here at OMRF.
new city, hire technical staff for his lab and set up a
new office. But one of his first requirements was to
establish a dedicated facility to house his multitudes
“Every new PI is different,” says Director of
Facility Services Roger Titsworth. “Dave sent us his
specifications for his worm room, and we got to work.
Whatever the scientist needs, that’s what we’ll do.”
Biomed Shop Supervisor Mike Austin echoed
the sentiment. “Little things will come to mind as
scientists start planning their moves. We give them
our cell phone numbers and email addresses early
on, so they can contact us any time about anything
they need before they get here.”
Dave knew his worms could get roughed up
in transit, so it was a relief to have Christeena
Satterfield, project manager in Functional and
Chemical Genomics, ready to greet the critters when
FedEx dropped them off. She unpacked them, made
sure they were healthy and kept an eye on them until
It took Dave five days to pack and travel to
Oklahoma City, and he knew everything in his new
workplace was ready for him when he walked in the
door. By the next week, he was reacquainted with his
3,000 planarians and conducting experiments in his
new lab at OMRF.
“I had never moved a lab before, and, of course,
my main concern was the worms,” says Dave. “But
everyone was so friendly and helpful, from IT to HR,
Accounting, Biomed and Purchasing, which is crazy-
efficient! It was so much easier than I had expected.
OMRF is definitely a first-class organization, from top
Laura Rinehart Thanscheidt and Lisa Rinehart “People would get so confused, especially if I
Romines remember the fight vividly. At age wore my glasses,” says Laura.
4, the two had a knockdown, drag-out
spat in the family garden. The point Lisa remembers a Halloween when, dressed
of contention: just a sweatshirt. as twins, the two traded places as a joke.
“I went to Purchasing and Laura went to
“We just started fighting Accounting,” she says. “We thought
over it, which made no real we had everyone fooled, but
sense, considering we both Louretta Parker knew instantly.”
had a matching one. But When Laura married OMRF
our mom just said, ‘Have coworker Ross Thanscheidt five
it out,’ and we settled it,” years ago, she got two step-
remembers Laura. “After daughters in the process: Lisa
that, no more fighting.” and Laura. Oh, and the twins’
brother married another Lisa,
From that point and she now has Lisa’s maiden
forward, twins Laura and name. You almost need an OMRF
Lisa weren’t just almost scientist to come up with a diagram
indistinguishable. They also to keep it straight.
were inseparable. In addition to doting on daughters
Ashley (Laura) and Brittany (Lisa), the two
They joined the Purcell
cheerleading squad together. They share a love for OU, the Thunder (Russell
played basketball and tennis. They Westbrook signed his contract extension on their
even enjoyed the same hobbies, including birthday last year) and, especially, Elvis Presley.
piano lessons and singing duets at church.
“Elvis is a significant one for us,” says Lisa,
“Everything we did, we did together,” says Laura. breaking for a sip of coffee from a mug that bears a
After high school, they relocated from their country likeness of the King of Rock ‘n Roll. “We got to see
home west of Purcell to attend Rose State College him live when we were just 7 years old, and our dad
together and shared an apartment. It was only a used to bring home his albums when we were kids.”
matter of time until they shared a work address, too.
Now the twins have been making OMRF “Our first trip together was to Memphis to see
employees do double takes for three decades. Laura Graceland,” says Laura.
started working at OMRF in 1985, and Lisa followed
two years later. But surely there’s a downside to sharing so much
Lisa has been in Accounting since she joined the of their lives?
foundation. Laura currently works in Purchasing,
but she’s also had positions in Gift Processing and “There’s nothing about it we don’t like. We feel
Accounting. As you might guess, her presence in blessed,” says Lisa.
Accounting caused some double takes.
In fact, says Laura, “Our least favorite part is that
we still don’t get to spend as much time together as
For Your Benefit will only be able to access their own information.”
Employee Online also will be eco-friendly, with new
OMRF will soon roll out a new feature called
Employee Online to help simplify benefits management features like the option to go paperless for your pay
for employees. stubs, W-2s, 1095-Cs and more.
Have you recently moved to a new house? Want “These will be stored on the website, so whether
to switch to direct deposit? Need to change your or not you elect the paperless option, you can still go
tax withholdings? How about viewing your available online and view or print them,” says Beth. “In this case,
vacation or sick leave? Employee Online will provide a you won’t have to ask for your paystubs if, say, you’re
one-stop tool that will let you manage all this and more. needing them for a home loan. You’ll just go to the
Employee Online website and print off something that
Not only will you be able to initiate changes to a looks just like your paycheck.”
wide variety of things electronically, you’ll also be able
to see all of your benefits information in one place. All these new options will be provided by
ONESolution, which is already used by OMRF for
“You can see what’s covered without asking HR accounting, payroll and grants management services.
(although you are still welcome to do so), so it’s going
to be a great convenience for employees,” says Human “We have wanted to provide this option to our
Resources Benefits Manager Beth Benefield. employees for a long time, and we are pleased to say
that very soon, we will,” says Beth.
It’s easy to use, too. You’ll simply log in with your
OMRF username and password. Affiliates can use Employee Online will give you access to...
Employee Online, too.
• Health insurance information and coverage
“Right now, you have to fill out paper forms for • Direct deposit information
everything except an address change. This will take us • Tax withholding information
in a new and improved direction,” says Beth. • Leave balances, including floating holidays
• Supplemental retirement contributions
But if you’re concerned about having your important
info posted on the web, fear not. This system is secure And more!
“Employees have to be on the network to access it,
so either at OMRF or through the VPN from home. It’s
not an open website. It’s like our Intranet, so employees
Party ON! ( )Annual Chili Cook-Off
and First Thirstday CALENDAR
Lunch & Learn with OKC
Thunder expert Jon Hamm
MARCH 30 & 31