John Matsui

Director & Co-Founder

I grew up in a low-income household in the flats of West Berkeley. Like myself, all of my friends came from families in which no one had gone to college. And the expectation was that neither would we. Today, I am here at UC Berkeley because of the help of caring mentors and a lot of hard work.

The reason I chose to start BSP is captured by the phrase “professional is personal” – where my personal background and experiences have driven what I have done professionally. As Director and co-Founder of BSP my commitment is to make biology at Berkeley accessible to all students with an interest. Through the BSP, my goal is to "level the playing field"  for individuals who, like myself, do not fit the historical profile of success and to help them become leaders in their future science-related careers. For more than 26 years, I have learned from over 3,500 program members how Berkeley can better train and support its undergraduate students in biology.

  • Champions of Health Professions Diversity Award. 2011. California Wellness Foundation
  • Distinguished Mentor Award. 2014. Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)
  • Presidential Mentoring Award (PAESMEM). 2015. National Science Foundation
  • Andrew Robertson Lecture Award. 2019. Keystone Symposia (Keystone, CO)