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CLDP Quick Facts

The Clinical Laboratory Development Program is based in a state-of-the-art, $3.5M facility on the University of Illinois Chicago campus, in the medical district. Its features include:

  • Molecular diagnostic and Next Generation Sequencing capabilitieslab workers in a laboratory

  • Five Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) instruments

  • Three-laboratory complex in a flexible modular production setup

  • BSL3, 24/7 capabilities

  • NextSeq 2000 sequencing instrument

  • 200 kW diesel generator, ensuring no power interruption

Meet the CLDP Team

Senior Director Rhiannon Clifton

Rhiannon CliftonRhiannon Clifton is a solutions-driven leader with repeated success leveraging talent in operations, communication, analysis and team leadership. She is currently the Senior Director of Integration at SHIELD Illinois where she oversees Field Operations, Lab Operations, Relationship Management, and Customer Success and serves as chief of staff for the SHIELD Illinois organization.  Prior to joining SHIELD, Rhiannon was Director of External Research Partnerships and Business Development for Futurewei Technologies, Inc. where she managed a portfolio of over 35 research partnerships and projects. She also spent over ten years at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign leading units in the Colleges of Engineering and Media, focusing on learning opportunities outside the classroom. Specifically, she developed programs and partnerships in entrepreneurship, media, and business and taught in these disciplines as well. Rhiannon earned her BS degree in Advertising from the University of Illinois and her MBA with a concentration in International Business from Salem University. She lives in Savoy, IL with her husband, three teens and two dogs.

Lab Director Natalie Lubbers

Natalie LubbersNatalie Lubbers is a highly accomplished clinical technical supervisor and director of laboratory operations with over eight years of experience. She has personally completed the establishment of several molecular labs, overseeing renovations, assay development, validations, accreditations, and design and implementation of all laboratory compliance paperwork. Natalie's expertise in molecular techniques and regulatory guidelines has resulted in successful validations of laboratory-developed tests (LDTs) and FDA-cleared assays. She ensures compliance with accrediting agency requirements such as CAP and CLIA, maintaining high-quality laboratory practices. Natalie's keen attention to detail and comprehensive approach have created efficient and compliant laboratory spaces through facility design, equipment selection, and workflow optimization. Her proficiency in regulatory requirements guarantees adherence to standards and guidelines, fostering reliable and accurate diagnostic services.