Jean-Marie Alves-Bradford, Salila Kurra, David Bell

VP&S Welcomes Three New Associate Deans in Education Office

The Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons has appointed three new associate deans within the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging. In the Office of Student Affairs, Jean-Marie Alves-Bradford, MD, will serve as associate dean for student affairs, support & services, while Salila Kurra, MD, will serve as associate dean for student career development. David L. Bell MD, MPH, will serve as associate dean for diversity, inclusion and belonging in the newly renamed Office of Student Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging.

Drs. Alves-Bradford, Kurra, and Bell will work together to support VP&S students and build a learning environment conducive to their success and well-being. All three appointments are effective July 10. 

“From orientation to graduation, the Office of Student Affairs and the Office of Student Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging assist our medical students in their journey through medical school," says Monica Lypson, MD, vice dean for education at VP&S. "All three new associate deans are perfectly positioned to use their prior experiences and special areas of expertise to work collaboratively in fostering the professional and personal well-being of our students. I am delighted to have them all as part of the team in medical education.”

Drs. Alves-Bradford, Kurra, and Bell succeed Lisa Mellman, MD, who stepped down from her role as senior associate dean for students in the Office of Student Affairs, and Hilda Hutcherson, MD, who retired as senior associate dean of the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs. Learn more about each associate dean below. 

Jean-Marie Alves-Bradford, MD

Jean-Marie Alves-Bradford

Jean-Marie Alves-Bradford

Dr. Alves-Bradford will serve as associate dean of student affairs, support & services in the Office of Student Affairs. In this capacity, she will serve as the primary contact for university issues related to student affairs and oversee the system of community support, class activities, and other services provided for students. She will continue to serve as the associate dean for medical school professionalism, where she spearheads the school’s training programs for departments, clerkships, and courses related to student mistreatment issues. Dr. Alves-Bradford will work as a conciliator to assist students in resolving personal and academic issues, as well as serving as a trusted point of contact for students seeking guidance and advice.

Dr. Alves-Bradford is an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at CUIMC. She has served as the director of the Washington Heights Community Service (WHCS) at the New York State Psychiatric Institute (NYSPI), and the training director for Columbia University’s NIMH-funded T32 Research Fellowship in Global Mental Health. She is also the inaugural director of the Department of Psychiatry’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, and the associate clinical director of NYSPI. She has served as an instructor in "Foundation of Clinical Medicine" and was instrumental in coaching residents interested in community psychiatry. Dr. Alves-Bradford received her bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and completed her medical degree at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University. She has been a Columbia faculty member since completing her psychiatric residency at Columbia University, where she served as chief resident.

Salila Kurra, MD

Salila Kurra

Salila Kurra

Salila Kurra will serve as associate dean for student career development in the Office of Student Affairs. In this role she will oversee career services to promote career exploration and guide students through the residency application and Match processes. Having served as an advisory dean since 2016 and a former endocrinology fellowship program director, Dr. Kurra has significant experience with mentoring, training, and educating students and trainees. She will continue her work in the curricular sphere, where she has been serving as the endocrine section director for “The Body: In Health and Disease” since 2011, and will continue as a member of the VP&S curriculum re-imagining creative workgroup. 

Dr. Kurra is an associate professor of medicine at CUIMC and clinical chief in the Division of Endocrinology. She is the medical director of the Columbia Adrenal Center and a specialist in adrenal, thyroid, and bone disease. Dr. Kurra received her bachelor’s degree from Brown University and earned her medical degree at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons. She has remained on faculty since completing her residency in internal medicine and her fellowship in endocrinology at Columbia University.

David L. Bell, MD, MPH

David Bell

David L. Bell

David L. Bell will serve as the associate dean of diversity, inclusion and belonging in Office of Student Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, formerly the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs. Dr. Bell will bring extensive experience, a remarkable track record of scholarly engagement, experience with admissions and promotion, and proven administrative leadership to his role. Dr. Bell has demonstrated a deep commitment to advancing healthcare and addressing the unique needs of diverse populations; he has presented his research on primary care for adolescent and young adult males at regional, national, and international forums. Dr. Bell's work has not only contributed to the academic field, but has also directly benefitted medical students and public health students. He is deeply connected to the VP&S students and pipeline programs, which will facilitate a seamless integration into this role. Dr. Bell is eager to continue and expand upon the college's commitment to diversity, inclusion, and belonging in his new role as associate dean.

Throughout his tenure at Columbia, Dr. Bell has been actively involved in various initiatives promoting diversity and inclusion. He has been a member of the admissions committee for over a decade, playing a crucial role in recognizing and nurturing the visible and "invisible" diversity within each incoming class. In addition, Dr. Bell was a critical member of Columbia University Irving Medical Center Committee on Appointments and Promotions. Dr. Bell received his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and his master's in public health degree from the University of California at Berkeley. He completed his residency at Bellevue Hospital and his fellowship at University of California-San Francisco Medical Center.