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Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry

Faculty Profile - James A. McNamara Jr., DDS, MS, PhD

James A. McNamara Jr., DDS, MS, PhD

Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry
Thomas M. And Doris Graber Endowed Professor of Dentistry
mcnamara@umich.edu


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Dr. James A. McNamara, a graduate of the University of California Berkeley, received his dental and orthodontic education at the University of California, San Francisco, and a Doctorate in Anatomy from the University of Michigan.  He serves as the Thomas M. and Doris Graber Endowed Professor of Dentistry in the Department of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry, Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology in the University of Michigan Medical School and Research Scientist at the Center for Human Growth and Development.  

Dr. McNamara teaches primarily in the graduate orthodontic program.  His is the course director for the first year orthodontic technique class as well as the director of the interdisciplinary program (treatment of the dentally compromised patient) that includes residents from orthodontics, periodontics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, prosthodontics and restorative dentistry.  In addition, he teaches the summer cephalometric course as well as advanced diagnosis and treatment planning.  He also supervises patient care on Thursday afternoons in the orthodontic clinic.  Dr. McNamara is course director of Orthodontics 742, an overview course directed toward junior dental students.

Dr. McNamara has a long history of both experimental and clinical research in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics.  He maintained a large colony of rhesus monkeys for nearly 20 years, publishing a series of papers dealing with electromyography, cephalometrics, and histological analysis of craniofacial adaptations in rhesus monkeys to various orthopedic techniques used in orthodontics.  His focus then shifted to clinical orthodontics where he and his colleagues Tiziano Baccetti and Lorenzo Franchi from the University of Florence have conducted a series of prospective and retrospective investigations of commonly used orthodontic and orthopedic techniques.   He is the author (with artist William L. Brudon) of the text, Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics.  He is Editor-in-Chief of the 46 volume Craniofacial Growth Monograph Series published through the University of Michigan.  Dr. McNamara has published over 240 scientific articles in refereed journals, has written, edited or contributed to 65 books, and has presented courses and lectures in 35 countries.

Dr. McNamara was the recipient of the

  • Albert H. Ketcham Memorial Award from the American Board of Orthodontics in 2008
  • Milo Hellman Research Award of the American Association of Orthodontists in 1973
  • E. Sheldon Friel Memorial Lecturer of the European Orthodontic Society in 1979 
  • Research Recognition Award of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons in 1983.
  • Jacob A. Salzmann Award at the 1994 meeting of the American Association of Orthodontists.
  • BF Dewel Biomedical Research Award of the American Association of Orthodontists Foundation in 1997
  • James E. Brophy Distinguished Service Award in 2001, the highest award given by the American Association of Orthodontists.  In addition, he delivered the John Valentine Mershon Memorial Lecture during the 2002 annual session of the AAO. 
  • 7th Biennial Outstanding Research Award given by the EH Angle Education and Research Foundation in 2003.

Dr. McNamara is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics and a Fellow of the American College of Dentists. He also is past President of the Midwest Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontists. In addition, Dr. McNamara served as Chairman of the Council on Scientific Affairs of the American Association of Orthodontists from 1993-1996. Currently Dr. McNamara is Scientific Program Co-chair of the Annual Session of the American Association of Orthodontists held in Chicago in 2011.

Dr. McNamara also has maintained a private orthodontic practice in Ann Arbor since 1971 with his daughter Laurie McNamara McClatchey and two other partners, Patrick Nolan and Donald Burkhardt.