Charmaine D. Royal, Associate Professor  

Charmaine D. Royal

Charmaine Royal is Associate Professor of African & African American Studies, Biology, Global Health, and Family Medicine & Community Health at Duke University. She is also core faculty in the Duke Initiative for Science & Society, senior fellow in Kenan Institute for Ethics, and faculty in the Social Science Research Institute where she directs the Center on Genomics, Race, Identity, Difference and the Center for Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation.

Dr. Royal’s research, scholarship, and teaching are transdisciplinary and global, focusing on ethical, legal, and social issues in genetics and genomics, particularly the intersection of race and genetics and its policy implications and practical interventions. She serves on numerous domestic and international professional committees and boards related to these topics.

Dr. Royal received a master’s in genetic counseling and a doctorate in human genetics from Howard University. She completed postgraduate training in bioethics and ELSI (ethical, legal, and social implications) research 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
B.S., Microbiology,, Howard University, 1988

Office Location: 234 Friedl Bldg, Box 90252, Durham, NC 27708-0141
Office Phone: (919) 668-6515
Email Address:

Office Hours:

By appointment

Diaspora Studies
Cultural Studies

Research Categories: Conceptualization and use of race in science and medicine, Genetic and genomic ancestry inference, Involvement of diverse populations in genetics and genomics, Interplay of biological and non-biological factors in health, Global health, African Diaspora

Research Description: My research, scholarship, and teaching focus on ethical, psychosocial, and societal issues in genetics and genomics, particularly intersections with constructs of race, ethnicity, and ancestry. Through my work I seek to: 1) foster ethical conduct in science, medicine, and society with regard to the use of these constructs and the application of genetic and genomic technologies that infer them; 2) advance holistic approaches to understanding disease and promoting optimal health and overall well-being for individuals and populations; and 3) develop a model of interdisciplinary work that can serve as a template or example for others who wish to do similar work. My current empirical research includes studies on: race, genetics, and genetic ancestry testing in the US; the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sickle cell trait testing; sickle cell disease in the US, Cameroon, South Africa, and Jamaica; and BiDil - the first and only drug approved by the FDA to treat a specific 'racial' group.

Recent Publications   (More Publications)   (search)

  1. Baker, C; Powell, J; Le, D; Creary, MS; Daley, L-A; McDonald, MA; Royal, CD, Implementation of the NCAA Sickle Cell Trait Screening Policy: A Survey of Athletic Staff and Student-athletes., Journal of the National Medical Association, vol. 110 no. 6 (December, 2018), pp. 564-573 [doi]  [abs].
  2. Nelson, SC; Yu, J-H; Wagner, JK; Harrell, TM; Royal, CD; Bamshad, MJ, A content analysis of the views of genetics professionals on race, ancestry, and genetics., Ajob Empirical Bioethics, vol. 9 no. 4 (October, 2018), pp. 222-234 [doi]  [abs].
  3. Bulgin, D; Tanabe, P; Asnani, M; Royal, CDM, Twelve tips for teaching a comprehensive disease-focused course with a global perspective: A sickle cell disease example., Medical Teacher (January, 2018), pp. 1-7 [doi]  [abs].
  4. Christensen, KD; Uhlmann, WR; Roberts, JS; Linnenbringer, E; Whitehouse, PJ; Royal, CDM; Obisesan, TO; Cupples, LA; Butson, MB; Fasaye, G-A; Hiraki, S; Chen, CA; Siebert, U; Cook-Deegan, R; Green, RC, 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, vol. 20 no. 1 (January, 2018), pp. 132-141 [doi]  [abs].
  5. McDonald, MA; Creary, MS; Powell, J; Daley, L-A; Baker, C; Royal, CD, Perspectives and Practices of Athletic Trainers and Team Physicians Implementing the 2010 NCAA Sickle Cell Trait Screening Policy., Journal of Genetic Counseling, vol. 26 no. 6 (December, 2017), pp. 1292-1300 [doi]  [abs].