Charmaine DM Royal

Associate Professor in the Department of African and African American Studies

External Address: 
234 Friedl Bldg, Box 90252, Durham, NC 27708-0141
Internal Office Address: 
Duke Box 90252, Durham, NC 27708
(919) 668-6515
Office Hours: 
By appointment


Charmaine DM Royal is associate professor of African & African American Studies, Biology, Community & Family Medicine at Duke University. She is also core faculty in the Duke Initiative for Science and Society, faculty affiliate in the Duke Global Health Institute, and senior fellow in the Kenan Institute for Ethics.

Dr. Royal’s research, scholarship, and teaching focus on ethical and social issues in genetics and genomics on a global scale, particularly the intersection of "race" and genetics, its policy implications, and practical interventions. She serves on several national and international professional committees and boards related to these topics. She directs the Duke Center on Genomics, Race, Identity, Difference (GRID) that aims to inform and transform the concepts, uses, and impacts of “race” in research, healthcare, and society.

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.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Howard University 1997

  • M.S., Howard University 1992

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

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

Royal, CDM, and FitzGerald, K. "Race, Genetics, and Ethics." African American Bioethics: Culture, Race, and Identity. Ed. ED Pellegrino. Georgetown University Press, May 3, 2007. 137-152.

Royal, CDM, and Dunston, G. "The Human Genome: Implications for the Health of African Americans." Praeger handbook of Black American health. Ed. IL Livingston. Praeger Publishers, June 2004. 757-775.

Kittles, R, and Royal, C. "The genetics of African Americans: Implications for disease gene mapping and identity." Genetic Nature/Culture: Anthropology and Science beyond the Two-Culture Divide. November 6, 2003. 219-233.

Blanchard, JW, Tallbull, G, Wolpert, C, Powell, J, Foster, MW, and Royal, C. "Barriers and Strategies Related to Qualitative Research on Genetic Ancestry Testing in Indigenous Communities." Journal of empirical research on human research ethics : JERHRE 12.3 (July 2017): 169-179. Full Text

McDonald, MA, Creary, MS, Powell, J, Daley, L-A, Baker, C, and Royal, CD. "Perspectives and Practices of Athletic Trainers and Team Physicians Implementing the 2010 NCAA Sickle Cell Trait Screening Policy." Journal of genetic counseling (June 3, 2017). Full Text

Treadwell, MJ, Makani, J, Ohene-Frempong, K, Ofori-Acquah, S, McCurdy, S, de Vries, J, Bukini, D, Dennis-Antwi, J, Kamga, KK, Mbekenga, C, Wonkam, ET, Tangwa, G, Royal, CD, Wonkam, A, and as members of the H3Africa Consorti, . "Stakeholder Perspectives on Public Health Genomics Applications for Sickle Cell Disease: A Methodology for a Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) Qualitative Research Study." OMICS: A Journal of Integrative Biology 21.6 (June 2017): 323-332. Full Text

Wagner, JK, Yu, J-H, Ifekwunigwe, JO, Harrell, TM, Bamshad, MJ, and Royal, CD. "Anthropologists' views on race, ancestry, and genetics." American journal of physical anthropology 162.2 (February 2017): 318-327. Full Text

Mulder, N, Nembaware, V, Adekile, A, Anie, KA, Inusa, B, Brown, B, Campbell, A, Chinenere, F, Chunda-Liyoka, C, Derebail, VK, Geard, A, Ghedira, K, Hamilton, CM, Hanchard, NA, Haendel, M, Huggins, W, Ibrahim, M, Jupp, S, Kamga, KK, Knight-Madden, J, Lopez-Sall, P, Mbiyavanga, M, Munube, D, Nirenberg, D, Nnodu, O, Ofori-Acquah, SF, Ohene-Frempong, K, Opap, KB, Panji, S, Park, M, Pule, G, Royal, C, Sangeda, R, Tayo, B, Treadwell, M, Tshilolo, L, and Wonkam, A. "Proceedings of a Sickle Cell Disease Ontology workshop — Towards the first comprehensive ontology for Sickle Cell Disease." Applied & Translational Genomics 9 (June 2016): 23-29. Full Text

Bonham, VL, Callier, SL, and Royal, CD. "Will Precision Medicine Move Us beyond Race?." The New England journal of medicine 374.21 (May 2016): 2003-2005. Full Text

Christensen, KD, Roberts, JS, Whitehouse, PJ, Royal, CDM, Obisesan, TO, Cupples, LA, Vernarelli, JA, Bhatt, DL, Linnenbringer, E, Butson, MB, Fasaye, G-A, Uhlmann, WR, Hiraki, S, Wang, N, Cook-Deegan, R, and Green, RC. "Disclosing Pleiotropic Effects During Genetic Risk Assessment for Alzheimer Disease: A Randomized Trial." Annals of internal medicine 164.3 (February 2016): 155-163. Full Text

Auton, A, Brooks, LD, Durbin, RM, Garrison, EP, Kang, HM, Korbel, JO, Marchini, JL, McCarthy, S, McVean, GA, and Abecasis, GR. "A global reference for human genetic variation." Nature 526.7571 (October 2015): 68-74. Full Text

Green, RC, Christensen, KD, Cupples, LA, Relkin, NR, Whitehouse, PJ, Royal, CDM, Obisesan, TO, Cook-Deegan, R, Linnenbringer, E, Butson, MB, Fasaye, G-A, Levinson, E, and Roberts, JS. "A randomized noninferiority trial of condensed protocols for genetic risk disclosure of Alzheimer's disease." Alzheimer's & dementia : the journal of the Alzheimer's Association 11.10 (October 2015): 1222-1230. Full Text

Wonkam, A, Makani, J, Ofori-Aquah, S, Nnodu, OE, Treadwell, M, Royal, C, and Ohene-Frempong, K. "Sickle cell disease and H3Africa: enhancing genomic research on cardiovascular diseases in African patients." Cardiovascular journal of Africa 26.2 Suppl 1 (March 2015): S50-S55. (Review) Full Text