Saba Valadkhan

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Saba Valadkhan (Persian: صبا ولدخان‎) is an Iranian American biomedical scientist, and an Assistant Professor and RNA researcher at Case Western Reserve University. In 2005, she was awarded the GE / Science Young Scientist Award for her breakthrough in understanding the mechanism of spliceosomes - "akin to finding the Holy Grail of the splicing catalysis field" [1] - a critical area of research, given that "20 percent or 30 percent of all human genetic diseases are caused by mistakes that the spliceosome makes".[2]

Valadkhan qualified as a medical doctor in Iran, before moving to America to pursue post-graduate study at Columbia University in New York.

The main focus of her research is elucidating the structure and function of the catalytic core of the spliceosome by taking advantage of a novel, minimal spliceosome she recently developed. This minimal system, which consists of only two spliceosomal snRNAs, catalyzes a reaction identical to the splicing reaction. In addition to providing direct evidence for RNA catalysis in the spliceosome, and thus, settling the longstanding and central question of the identity of the catalytic domain, the minimal system provides a novel and powerful tool for studying the structure and function of the spliceosome.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Saba Valadkhan of Case Western Reserve University Wins Young Scientist Award".
  2. ^ "News".

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