Directors of the MetaSUB International Consortium


Benjamin Young

Executive Director

Benjamin received his Bachelor’s in biophysical science from Syracuse University and his Master’s in Biotechnology from Columbia University in the City of New York. Benjamin has been a researcher in Dr. Mason’s lab since 2018 during which time he has been involved in projects within the fields of metagenomics and human cell line engineering. Before becoming the executive director of the MetaSUB Consortium, Benjamin lead sampling, logistics, and metadata coordination for the project. Benjamin co-founded a biotech startup in the field of therapeutic biologics delivery and cell encapsulation in 2018. 


Daniela Bezdan

Executive Director EMERITUS

Daniela Bezdan started her education in organic chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Stuttgart. During her Master’s studies at EMBL Heidelberg/Germany and her PhD at the Max-Plank-Institute in Germany she focused on gene regulation and  next generation sequencing (NGS). After her Ph.D. she studied bacterial adaptation processes at UC San Diego. In 2016 she was recruited by Dr. Christopher Mason at Weil Cornell Medicine as a Research Director. During her time at WCM Daniela lead the MetaSUB Consortium, co-founded several biotechnology startup companies in NYC, lead teams focused on metagenomics, antibiotic resistance transmission and was heavily involved in several NASA studies including Mars Rover, ISS space station environment and the NASA twin study. Daniela is currently serving as the Chief Scientific Officer for Bumrungrad International Hospital.


Ebrahim Afshinnekoo


Ebrahim Afshinnekoo is a fourth year medical student at New York Medical College and a Medical Student Research Fellow in the Mason Lab at Weill Cornell Medicine. He has directed the metagenomics projects in Dr. Mason’s laboratory from 2015 to 2017, most notably leading the PathoMap project. Ebrahim co-founded the MetaSUB International Consortium with Dr. Mason in 2015 and now serves as the Clinical Director. He is passionate about education and community outreach, leading and designing many workshops and curricula on the subject of the microbiome, metagenomics, and bioinformatic analyses. Ebrahim’s research interests focus on the translation of metagenomic approaches to the clinical arena.