Dr. Noelker joined the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging in 1974 and has served in a variety of capacities including Director of Research, Director of the Katz Policy Institute, and Senior Vice President. Dr. Noelker received her master’s and doctoral degrees from Case Western Reserve University, where she is currently an Adjunct Professor of Sociology. She also served as Editor–in–Chief of The Gerontologist, the leading scientific journal in applied aging research, practice, and policy, from 2002 through 2006. She has held leadership positions in the American Society on Aging (ASA) and the Gerontological Society of America (GSA), the two major professional societies in the field of aging. In 2005 she received the ASA Award for exemplary contributions to the field of aging and the Distinguished Career in Gerontology Award from GSA. Currently, she is a member of the Board of Trustees for the Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging and Senior Outreach Services, and was recently elected President of the Board of Directors for the National Center for Creative Aging. In 2011, Dr. Noelker was inducted into Ohio Women's Hall of Fame.
Throughout her career, she has conducted research on family caregiving, nursing home residents, case management and home care services, and stress and job satisfaction among direct care workers. Dr. Noelker has published widely in professional journals on the support networks of older adults, quality of life in later life, the well–being of family caregivers, and the nature of social relationships in nursing homes.