Charmaine DM Royal

Professor of Biology

234 Friedl Bldg, Box 90252, Durham, NC 27708-0141
Campus Box: 
Duke Box 90252, Durham, NC 27708
(919) 668-6515
Charmaine Royal is Professor of African & African American Studies, Biology, Global Health, and Family Medicine & Community Health at Duke University. She also has appointments in the Duke Initiative for Science & Society and the Kenan Institute for Ethics. She directs the Duke Center on Genomics, Race, Identity, Difference and the Duke Center for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation. Dr. Royal’s research, scholarship, and teaching are interdisciplinary and global, focusing on ethical, social, scientific, and clinical implications of genetics and genomics, particularly issues at the intersection of genetics and ‘race’. A fundamental goal of her work is to dismantle ideologies and systems of racial hierarchies in research, healthcare, and society. She serves as an advisor on numerous professional committees and boards including the Board of Directors of the American Society of Human Genetics and the External Scientific Advisory Board of the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) Consortium. Dr. Royal obtained her bachelor’s degree in microbiology, master’s in genetic counseling, and doctorate in human genetics from Howard University. She completed postgraduate training in ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) research and bioethics at the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health, and in epidemiology and behavioral medicine at Howard University Cancer Center.


  • Ph.D., Howard University 1997

  • M.S., Howard University 1992

Royal, C. D. M., and K. FitzGerald. “Race, Genetics, and Ethics.” In African American Bioethics: Culture, Race, and Identity, edited by Edmund D. Pellegrino, 137–52. Georgetown University Press, 2007.

Royal, C. D. M., and G. Dunston. “The Human Genome: Implications for the Health of African Americans.” In Praeger Handbook of Black American Health, edited by Ivor Lensworth Livingston, 757–75. Praeger Publishers, 2004.

Kittles, R., and C. Royal. “The genetics of African Americans: Implications for disease gene mapping and identity.” In Genetic Nature/Culture: Anthropology and Science beyond the Two-Culture Divide, 219–33, 2003.

Stewart, Kearsley A., Monika Parshad-Asnani, Ambroise Wonkam, John Bollinger, Valentina Ngo Bitoungui, Edmond Wonkam-Tingang, Jill Powell, et al. “"Pain is Subjective": A Mixed-Methods Study of Provider Attitudes and Practices Regarding Pain Management in Sickle Cell Disease Across Three Countries.J Pain Symptom Manage 61, no. 3 (March 2021): 474–87. Full Text

Gyamfi, Joyce, Temitope Ojo, Juliet Iwelunmor, Gbenga Ogedegbe, Nessa Ryan, Amy Diawara, Obiageli Nnodu, Ambroise Wonkam, Charmaine Royal, and Emmanuel Peprah. “Implementation science research for the scale-up of evidence-based interventions for sickle cell disease in africa: a commentary.Globalization and Health 17, no. 1 (February 17, 2021): 20. Full Text

Teteh, Dede K., Lenna Dawkins-Moultin, Stanley Hooker, Wenndy Hernandez, Carolina Bonilla, Dorothy Galloway, Victor LaGroon, et al. “Genetic ancestry, skin color and social attainment: The four cities study.Plos One 15, no. 8 (January 2020): e0237041. Full Text Open Access Copy

Blanchard, Jessica W., Simon Outram, Gloria Tallbull, and Charmaine D. M. Royal. “"We Don't Need a Swab in Our Mouth to Prove Who We Are": Identity, Resistance, and Adaptation of Genetic Ancestry Testing among Native American Communities.Current Anthropology 60, no. 5 (October 2019): 637–55. Full Text

Bulgin, Dominique, Paula Tanabe, Monika Asnani, and Charmaine D. M. Royal. “Twelve tips for teaching a comprehensive disease-focused course with a global perspective: A sickle cell disease example.Medical Teacher 41, no. 3 (March 2019): 275–81. Full Text

Baker, Charlotte, Jill Powell, Dominic Le, Melissa S. Creary, Lori-Ann Daley, Mary Anne McDonald, and Charmaine Dm Royal. “Implementation of the NCAA Sickle Cell Trait Screening Policy: A Survey of Athletic Staff and Student-athletes.Journal of the National Medical Association 110, no. 6 (December 2018): 564–73. Full Text Open Access Copy

Nelson, Sarah C., Joon-Ho Yu, Jennifer K. Wagner, Tanya M. Harrell, Charmaine D. Royal, and Michael J. Bamshad. “A content analysis of the views of genetics professionals on race, ancestry, and genetics.Ajob Empirical Bioethics 9, no. 4 (October 2018): 222–34. Full Text Open Access Copy

Outram, Simon, Joseph L. Graves, Jill Powell, Chantelle Wolpert, Kerry L. Haynie, Morris W. Foster, Jessica W. Blanchard, Anna Hoffmeyer, Robert P. Agans, and Charmaine Dm Royal. “Genes, Race, and Causation: US Public Perspectives About Racial Difference.Race and Social Problems 10, no. 2 (June 2018): 79–90. Full Text Open Access Copy

Christensen, Kurt D., Wendy R. Uhlmann, J Scott Roberts, Erin Linnenbringer, Peter J. Whitehouse, Charmaine D. M. Royal, Thomas O. Obisesan, et al. “A randomized controlled trial of disclosing genetic risk information for Alzheimer disease via telephone.Genetics in Medicine : Official Journal of the American College of Medical Genetics 20, no. 1 (January 2018): 132–41. Full Text

McDonald, Mary Anne, Melissa S. Creary, Jill Powell, Lori-Ann Daley, Charlotte Baker, and Charmaine Dm Royal. “Perspectives and Practices of Athletic Trainers and Team Physicians Implementing the 2010 NCAA Sickle Cell Trait Screening Policy.Journal of Genetic Counseling 26, no. 6 (December 2017): 1292–1300. Full Text


Dula, Annette, Charmaine Royal, and Marian Gray Secundy. “The ethical and social implications of exploring African American genealogies.” In Developing World Bioethics, 3:133–41, 2003. Full Text

Selected Grants

Implementation and Implications of Sickle Cell Trait Screening in the NCAA awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2019 to 2023

Tom Russell Charitable Foundation awarded by Tom Russell Charitable Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2020 to 2021

Transfusion Medicine and Hematology awarded by National Institutes of Health (Participating Faculty Member). 1975 to 2021

Duke-Durham: One Community¿Multiple Voices (Duke Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Center) awarded by Association of American Colleges and Universities (Principal Investigator). 2019 to 2020

Duke-Durham: One Community Multiple Voices (Duke Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Center) awarded by Association of American Colleges and Universities (Principal Investigator). 2017 to 2020

Duke-Durham: One Community¿Multiple Voices (Duke Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation Center) awarded by Association of American Colleges and Universities (Principal Investigator). 2017 to 2019

Understanding the Intersection of Stigma and Self-Management in Sickle Cell Disease awarded by National Institutes of Health (Sponsor). 2017 to 2019

Public Perspectives and Experience Regarding Genetic Ancestry Testing awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2012 to 2016

Perspectives and Experience Regarding the NCAA Sickle Cell Trait Testing awarded by National Collegiate Athletic Association (Principal Investigator). 2013 to 2015

Ethics as a Guide for the Use of "Race" and Ancestry in Research and Clinical Practice awarded by Greenwall Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2009 to 2015