François Major is one of the precursors of bioinformatics. While beginning his postgraduate studies in computer science at the Université de Montréal in 1984, he applied his knowledge in that field to answer questions relating to biology. His work led him to develop RNA three-dimensional modelling software under the supervision of Robert Cedergren and Guy Lapalme.
After receiving his Ph.D. in 1990, the Investigator completed postdoctoral training at the NCBI under the direction of David Lipman. He was hired by the Université de Montréal in 1994 as an Investigator. In 2005, he was recruited by the IRIC as a Principal Investigator.