His research focused on thermodynamic linkage analysis of biological macromolecules, addressing the molecular mechanism of cooperative O2 binding in human hemoglobin since the early 1970s. He was a Fellow of the Biophysical Society and one of the founders of the annual Gibbs Conference.
Professor Ackers invented agarose gel chromatography when he was a teenager. He went on the develop analytical gel chromatography methods for determinations of many important characteristics of water soluble proteins; diffusion coefficient, molecular size,   thermodynamics of protein-protein interactions including important changes due to single amino acid substitutions. 
- "Obituary - Gary K. Ackers". Biophysical Society. August 2011. Retrieved July 15, 2013.
- Gary Ackers Archived 2010-06-07 at the Wayback Machine faculty page at Washington University in St. Louis. Accessed on 2010-02-01.
- Ackers GK (1967). "Molecular sieve studies of interacting protein systems. I. Equations for transport of associating systems". J. Biol. Chem. 242 (13): 3026–3034. PMID 6027787.
- Ackers GK (1969). "Molecular sieve studies of interacting protein systems. IV. Molecular size of the D-amino acid oxidase apoenzyme subunit". J. Biol. Chem. 244 (2): 465–470. PMID 4388073.
- Pettigrew DW, Romeo PH, Tsapis A, Thillet J, Smith ML, Turner BW, Ackers GK (1982). "Probing the energetics of proteins through structural perturbation: sites of regulatory energy in human hemoglobin". PNAS. 79 (6): 1849–1853. PMID 6952235.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)