Science Zone


Rakibul Akter

Rakibul is a second year medical student at UT Southwestern. He was born in Bangladesh, but he spent most of his life growing up in Houston, TX.  He has had an amazing adventure during his years at the University of Houston (GO COOGS!) and is excited for his journey throughout medical school. On his free time, he loves playing basketball, eating, sleeping, and Netflixing. Growing up in a big family, he has grown to enjoy every moment that he has with the important people in his life and looks forward to living the life of an uncle (his brother just had a baby)! Rakibul can’t wait to see what this year’s United to Serve will accomplish and can’t wait to see all the fun that the kids (and parents!) will have this year!





Shivani Gaitonde

Shivani UTS picMy name is Shivani Gaitonde, and I am a second year medical student at UT Southwestern. I grew up in San Antonio, Texas and attended Texas A&M University, where I doubled majored in Biomedical Sciences and Psychology. The most rewarding aspect of getting involved in United to Serve is seeing how the small efforts of medical students can make such a large impact in our patrons’ lives. I love being a part of the Science Zone because it reminds me of my childhood — watching Bill Nye, doing science fair experiments, and going to museums. I really want the children in our local community to have experiences like that, and I hope we can help them get excited about learning and making healthy lifestyle choices at a young age.





Gautam Babu

I’m Gautam Babu and I’m a first-year medical student at UTSW. I was born in India, but I moved to the U.S. when I was three, so I consider Nashua, NH to be my hometown. I went to Dartmouth College for undergrad, where I majored in Astronomy and Biology. While moving to Dallas was definitely a major change, I really like the city and all the opportunities given to me by UTSW. I specifically enjoy being able to put my new medical skills and knowledge to use in free clinics and in educational programs like the Science Zone. I also hope to pursue a career in Space Medicine and have previously done research in the field, so I’m very excited to find out that I’ll be able to continue my work with a Professor right here at UTSW. In my free time, I love playing intramural sports (especially Basketball!) and exploring the city with friends. Really looking forward to United to Serve in the spring, as well as the rest of the 4 years I’ll be here!





Alysha Joseph

I am currently a first year medical student and a UT Dallas alum (whoosh!). I really look forward to help bring the Science Zone to life through United to Serve. When I was a kid, my favorite part of going to museums was always the interactive science demonstrations (and still is). And science is what led me to medicine! Through United to Serve, I hope to inspire kids to love science, learn more about it, and even possibly pursue STEM careers in the future.





Jiesu Lee

image1Jiesu is a proud native Texan who went to the University of Texas at Austin to complete a Bachelors degree in Cell and Molecular Biology. She is now back in her hometown to finish medical school at UTSW and will be starting her residency training at Baylor University Medical Center this coming July. She loves dogs, going to the gym, and playing jazz piano.

This is Jiesu’s 3rd year participating in the United to Serve Science zone and she is so excited to work with everyone at UTSW to make a difference in the Dallas community!








Neha Gaddam

Neha Gaddam PicNeha grew up in The Woodlands, Texas back when there was still an abundant sense of nature to appreciate (prior to the influx of overpasses, boutique shopping, and chain restaurants). While there is still an arguably vast spectrum of fascinating specimens endemic to the mall food court, it was in these simpler times that she came to love the natural world and, as a means of explaining it, SCIENCE. A proud alum of UT Austin, her nerdiest ambitions are now being realized at UT Southwestern as a third-year medical student. She is here to help spread knowledge to all the future physicians, PhDs, and mad scientists of Dallas as an advisor to the Science Zone. She hopes to someday make it to space. She welcomes all suggestions on how to make that happen.