Prof. Yagci Acar has received BS and MS degrees in Chemistry from Bogazici University and a PhD degree in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1999. She worked at General Electric Global Research Center at Niskayuna before joining Koc University in 2004. In her earlier studies, she studied structure-property relationships in acrylic polymers and high heat polyamides and polyimides produced from designed monomers. Later, she started to work on diagnostic nanoparticles, which eventually evolved into theranostic nanoparticles. Her current studies include tailor-made materials including quantum dots, superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles, gold nanoparticles, carbon dots, polymers, hybrid nanoparticles, and nano-composites to be exploited in various areas ranging from medicine to appliances. The main medical applications are diagnosis and therapy of cancer, infections, inflammation, drug/gene delivery, medical imaging (MRI, fluorescent, photoacoustic), phototherapies and combination therapies. She is also working on the nano-solutions in security and authentication of valuable goods, magnetorheological dampers, sensors, solar cells and nanocomposites. Her research is funded by both funding agencies and the industry.
She received Loreal WIS national reward in 2008 and Elginkan reward for technology in 2016. Her collaboration with OPET and Inventram was rewarded as the most successful partnership in Koc Group in 2015. She is the founding partner of QUANTAG A.Ş. She was rewarded as outstanding faculty in 2018. She has several papers and owns several patents.