Canan has studied biology and obtained her M.Sc. degree in Molecular Biology and Genetics at Bogazici University, in Turkey. She attended University of Torino to perform her PhD studies where she worked on free radical biology. After obtaining her doctorate degree, she received a postdoctoral fellowship to go to the University of California at San Diego. At UCSD, she worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Michael Karin. During her postdoctoral research she became interested in diet-induced obesity and the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. She was awarded a fellowship by the American Diabetes Association in 2003. Her study was one of the first to show a link between obesity-induced inflammation and diabetes. In 2005, she became an independent group leader and received her Habilitation in Experimental Medicine at the Technical University of Munich in 2010. Recently in 2016, she joined the Institute of Biochemistry II at the Medical Faculty of the Goethe University Frankfurt. Her lab focuses on the link between diet and cancer with special emphasis on inflammation, post-translational modifications, derangements in energy metabolism and microbiota.