Gary Linker, MD, Principal Investigator
An Oklahoma native, Gary Linker left his family’s farm after high school, enlisting in the U.S. Army. While serving in Honduras, he was attached to a medical unit that offered EMT classes after hours. Attending these classes sparked his interest in medicine. After leaving the Army, he began his educational training at Brigham Young University, graduating from BYU with a degree in psychology.
From there, he continued his undergraduate studies at the University of Utah, earning a degree in medical laboratory sciences. He returned to his home state for medical school and graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine in 1996. He completed his medical internship and psychiatric residency at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, Arkansas.
After residency, Dr. Linker moved to Bethesda, Maryland, where he completed a three-year fellowship in Alzheimer’s disease at the National Institutes of Health, the nation’s foremost medical research agency. During this time, he also completed an externship at Johns Hopkins University and was on the faculty of George Washington Medical School. A diplomat of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, Dr. Linker lives with his wife and daughter in Northwest Arkansas where he is in hospital-based practice.
Originally from Mountain Home, Christie Keller holds degrees in psychology and nursing from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and is a registered nurse. She is a certified clinical research coordinator through the Academy of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP) and has over a decade of experience working in the field of psychology. She is currently in the nursing doctoral program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Christie is also a trained chef and in a previous career life owned and operated a popular upscale restaurant in downtown Fayetteville.
In her free time, Christie is a fitness enthusiast, a kitten foster mother for the local animal shelter and enjoys spending time with her two children, along with organic gardening, DIY home remodeling projects, and a variety of other hobbies.
Eleta Hillyer, BA, CCRC, Rater, Clinical Research Coordinator
Born and raised in Fayetteville, Eleta Hillyer attended highly selective Hendrix College, graduating with a degree in psychology. She is an experienced neuropsychology testing administrator in both research and clinical practice settings and has worked in the mental field in a variety of roles for over a decade.
When not working, Eleta enjoys spending time with her husband and sons, the outdoors, art, and photography.
Julie Linker, JD, CCRC
Julie Linker received her juris doctorate from the University of Arkansas School of Law at Little Rock, and holds an English degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. She is certified as a clinical research coordinator through the Academy of Clinical Research Professionals (ACRP). Previously, Julie has worked as a public policy analyst at the National Center for Victims of Crime in Washington D.C. and in private law practice.
She is the author of 2 young adult fiction novels (Simon & Schuster) and is represented by Michael Bourret at Dystel & Goderich Literary agency.
Diagnosed in her twenties with Multiple Sclerosis, a disease of the brain and central nervous system for which disease-modifying drug therapies have only existed in recent years, she is grateful to all medical research volunteers.
Julie is an avid Pilates enthusiast and has completed Mariska Breland’s Pilates for MS™ Instructor Training. In her free time, Julie enjoys, reading, writing, and spending time with her husband, daughter, and extended family. *Photo credit: Marti Corn