Kanaris Panagopoulos was born in Kalamata - Greece, in 1950 where he went through his basic education. He then studied medicine at the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki. He is married with two sons.
He got his Ph.D. from the Medical School of the University of Athens with honors. He also received his Master of Science from the Medical School of Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and was a Research Fellow of the Medical School of Harvard University, Boston, U.S.A.
He was president of the European Society of Craniofacial Surgery.