Research Foundation Recruits Married Couples to OKC

Thursday, February 14th 2013, 6:15 pm
By: News 9

Here's something to think about on this Valentine's Day - romance in the workplace.

While some companies discourage couples working together, at least one here in the metro is all for it.

Hiring managers actually recruit married couples to work at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation here in Oklahoma City.

They say it's enabled them to hire some of the most talented scientists in the country, and the couples say they benefit too.

Dr. Scott Plafker spends a lot of time in the lab doing detailed research in cell biology. He's able to work in his own lab through a grant with the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. It's been his goal for years, and along the way, he found someone who's just as passionate about science as he is.

Scott met his wife Kendra at John Hopkins University. They worked in a lab together, fell in love, and have been married for over 15 years. In fact, working together is all they know.

"It's a privileged existence as far as we're concerned," Dr. Plafker said. "It's just something that really works well for us. We get along really well, we're best friends, so that allows us to communicate on the same level."

Scott and Kendra are one of more than 20 married couples who work together at OMRF.

"I think it's because only another scientist can actually understand ‘science time.' You know, when someone says, ‘oh, I'll be done, I'll be home in half an hour,' and really you know it's 90 minutes," Kendra said.

They say they'd consider not working together.

"We would learn to adapt to it, but for us, because how our relationship has grown the entire time we've known each other, it's very natural," Dr. Plafker said.

Scott and Kendra say running a lab is like running a business, and they're able to have the best of both worlds - doing work they love and getting to spend more time with each other.

OMRF says another selling point about Oklahoma City is the low cost of living. They also say it's a great place to raise a family.