Ralf Linker studied human medicine in Freiburg/Breisgau, Berlin and St. Louis, Missouri, USA. After a molecular-biological doctoral thesis at the Institute of Biochemistry, University of Freiburg, he worked as resident physician at the University of Würzburg, Department of Neurology (Head: Prof Klaus Toyka) as well as in Göttingen and at the Ruhr-University of Bochum. From 2007 to 2010 he was appointed as senior physician at the St. Josef Hospital, Ruhr University in Bochum (Head: Prof Ralf Gold), where he was in charge of the Neurological Research Laboratory. From 2010 to 2018, he was Head of the Neuroimmunology Section and Vice Chair at the Department of Neurology, University Hospital, Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen, Germany where he held an Endowed Professorship for Neuroimmunology from 2013 to 2018. Since October 2018, he is Full Professor of Neurology and Chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Regensburg, Germany.
His research interests focus on multiple sclerosis and neurodegenerative diseases, particularly in the field of experimental models. The emphasis is on examining mechanisms of neurodegeneration and neuroprotection and environmental factors, the role of the gut, as well as research on mechanisms of action of new immune therapies in a translational approach. In 2002, Ralf Linker was awarded the Sobek-Stiftung young researchers' prize as well as in 2005, the Helmut-Bauer young researchers' prize for MS research and in 2016, the Heinrich-Pette Prize of the German Neurological Society.