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McNamara Award Established by AAO Foundation

“A Total Surprise to Me”

Ann Arbor, MI — December 4, 2015 — A world-renowned University of Michigan School of Dentistry faculty member for more than 40 years is being honored by the American Association of Orthodontist Foundation (AAOF) with a new award that has been established in his name. 

The James McNamara Orthodontic Faculty Development Fellowship Award has been created by AAOF to recognize McNamara’s clinical and academic contributions to the field of orthodontics.  McNamara is professor emeritus of dentistry, professor emeritus of cell and developmental biology at the U-M Medical School and research professor emeritus at the Center for Human Growth and Development.

AAOF lauded McNamara as “a pioneer in the use of functional orthodontic appliances, who has dedicated much of his career to research into early orthodontic treatment of children.  In many instances,” AAOF added, “he has worked with companies that established the award to develop what are still considered to be the most advanced adhesive products and functional appliances in the industry.”

“A Total Surprise”

McNamara said he first learned of the award in early November.  “It was a total surprise to me.  I am delighted and deeply honored by the recognition from the AAOF,” he said.

Beginning next July, recipients of the James McNamara Orthodontic Faculty Development Fellowship Award will receive $25,000 annually which they can use to support their research efforts as well as supplement their salaries.

“A Big Step in the Right Direction”

“Given the shortage of educators in our specialty, especially young educators, the timing of this award could not be better,” McNamara said.  He said most orthodontic residents graduate with $250,000 or more of educational debt, “so all sources of supplemental revenue for young faculty must be considered.  This award is definitely a big step in the right direction.”

During his career, McNamara has published nearly 300 scientific articles in refereed journals; has written, edited or contributed to 73 books; and has presented lectures and courses in 43 countries. 

Since 1974, he has played a crucial role in the annual Moyers Symposium held every February at U-M.  McNamara was one of the speakers during the inaugural program and has been a member of the organizing committee since then.  He became Symposium moderator in 1976 and was the program coordinator for more than 35 years.

Enhancing the visibility and success of the Moyers Symposium is The Craniofacial Growth Monograph Series, of which McNamara is editor-in-chief, publications that provide a printed summary of presentations at the Symposium and thematically relevant talks from a presymposium.  Since 1974, Needham Press in Ann Arbor has distributed 53 volumes.

Distinguished Career

Among the prestigious awards McNamara has received include the Albert Ketcham Memorial Award from the American Board of Orthodontists (2008), the Outstanding Research Award given by the E.H. Angle Education and Research Foundation (2003), the James Brophy Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of Orthodontists (2001), the Jacob Salzman Award from AAO (1994) and the Milo Hellman Research Award from AAO (1973).

McNamara is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics, a Fellow of the American College of Dentists, a past president of the Midwest Edward H. Angle Society of Orthodontists, past chairman of the Council on Scientific Affairs of the American Association of Orthodontics, and past scientific program chair or co-chair of three annual Sessions of AAO (1997, 2005, 2011).