Francesc Canals graduated in Organic Chemistry from the Institut Químic de Sarrià, Barcelona, in 1982 from where he also obtained his PhD in 1989 working on organic photochemistry. He also obtained a degree in Biochemistry from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in 1987. From 1989 to 1991 he worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of J. Kyte, at the University of California San Diego (USA), and until 1995 in the laboratory of F. X. Avilés, at the Institut de Biotecnologia i Biomedicina (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona). From 1995-2003 he was in charge of the Proteomics Facility at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelon, where he also contributed to several studies on the biological applications of mass spectrometry.
From 2003 is principal investigator at the Proteomics Laboratory at the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) at the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital in Barcelona. His main research is focused in exploring the role of metalloproteases of the ADAM and ADAMTS families in cancer through proteomic analysis, and pursues also the use of proteomic techniques for screening and validation of biomarkers for cancer diagnostic, treatment personalization and monitoring. He also leads the Proteomic Core facility, which is integrated in the spanish ProteoRed-ISCIII network. Within this framework, he has coordinated several multi-laboratory studies aimed to optimize, standardize and provide quality control tools for different proteomic workflows across the network laboratories.