Juan Valcárcel studied biology and chemistry at the Universities of Santiago de Compostela and Autónoma de Madrid. He obtained his PhD in 1990 for work carried out at the Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa under the supervision of Juan Ortín. He did postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Michael Green at the University of Massachusetts and in 1996 he joined the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg as a group leader. In 2002 his group moved to the Centre de Regulació Genòmica in Barcelona, where he is a senior scientist and ICREA Research Professor. Since the time of his PhD work, his research has focused on how pre-mRNAs are spliced and how this process can be regulated.