Dr. James A. McNamara

Dr. M McNamara Orthodontics in Ann Arbor, MI

Dr. James A. “Jim” McNamara has practiced orthodontics in Ann Arbor since 1971. Born in San Francisco, he is a graduate of the University of California Berkeley. Dr. McNamara received his dental and orthodontic education at the University of California San Francisco and a Doctorate in Anatomy from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Jim is the Thomas M and Doris Graber Endowed Professor Emeritus in the Department of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry in the U of M School of Dentistry. He also is professor emeritus in the U of M Medical School and research professor emeritus in the Center for Human Growth and Development, an interdisciplinary research unit on the Ann Arbor campus.

Dr. McNamara is considered an innovator in orthodontic diagnosis and treatment. His research focuses extensively on the clinical modification of the growth of the face and jaws. He continues as director for the interdisciplinary course that deals with the management of patients with complex restorative and surgical needs (orthodontic, periodontic, and restorative/prosthodontic problems). He also is the curator of the Michigan Growth Study.

Dr. Jim lectures nationally and internationally, having given courses in 43 countries, and he has authored nearly 300 publications (for a list of publications click here). He also has written, edited, or contributed to 74 books on orthodontics and craniofacial biology, including the widely-used textbook Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics.

Dr. Jim has received much recognition during his career for his patient care, teaching, and research efforts as well as his service to the specialty of orthodontics. These include: 

  • The Albert H. Ketcham Memorial Award, the highest award given by the American Board of Orthodontics in 2008. This award generally is considered the most prestigious award in orthodontics worldwide.
  • The James E Brophy Award, the highest award given by the American Association of Orthodontists in 2001.
  • The Research Recognition Award of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons in 1983.
  • The E. Sheldon Friel Memorial Lecturer of the European Orthodontic Society in 1979.
  • The Milo Hellman Research Award given by the American Association of Orthodontists in 1973.

Dr. Jim 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.

Dr. McNamara lives in Ann Arbor with his wife Charlene, who runs a small publishing company. Their daughter Laurie McNamara McClatchey is an orthodontist who teaches with him at the university and is a partner in this practice. Their son David McNamara is a real estate broker and property manager and is the founder of Foxway Realty in Ann Arbor. The senior McNamaras have four grandchildren – Sophia, Alexander, Kendall and Elaina.
Dr. Jim is an avid photographer, supporter of U of M athletics, and also pretends to be a golfer.