Charmaine DM Royal

Charmaine DM Royal

Professor 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 Royal is the Robert O. Keohane Professor of African & African American Studies, Biology, Global Health, and Family Medicine & Community Health at Duke University. She also 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 focus on ethical, social, scientific, and clinical implications of human genetics and genomics, particularly issues at the intersection of genetics and ‘race’. Her specific interests include: genetics and genomics in African and African Diaspora populations; sickle cell disease and trait; public and professional perspectives and practices regarding ‘race’, ethnicity, and ancestry; genetic ancestry inference; and genotype-environment (broadly defined) interactions. A fundamental aim of her work is to dismantle ideologies, systems, and impacts of racial hierarchies in research, healthcare, and society. She serves on scientific and ethics advisory boards and committees for numerous government agencies, professional organizations, and corporations.

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.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Howard University 1997

  • M.S., Howard University 1992

Selected Grants

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

U.S. PUBLIC PERSPECTIVES ON RACE AND GENETICS awarded by Burroughs Wellcome Fund (Principal Investigator). 2021 to 2022

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


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

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

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

Tukker, Anke M., et al. “The Impact of Environmental Factors on Monogenic Mendelian Diseases.Toxicological Sciences : An Official Journal of the Society of Toxicology, vol. 181, no. 1, Apr. 2021, pp. 3–12. Epmc, doi:10.1093/toxsci/kfab022. Full Text Open Access Copy

Stewart, Kearsley A., 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, vol. 61, no. 3, Mar. 2021, pp. 474–87. Pubmed, doi:10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2020.08.029. Full Text

Royal, Charmaine D. M., et al. “Sickle cell disease is a global prototype for integrative research and healthcare.” Advanced Genetics, vol. 2, no. 1, Wiley, Mar. 2021. Crossref, doi:10.1002/ggn2.10037. Full Text Open Access Copy

Gyamfi, Joyce, et al. “Implementation science research for the scale-up of evidence-based interventions for sickle cell disease in africa: a commentary.Globalization and Health, vol. 17, no. 1, Feb. 2021, p. 20. Epmc, doi:10.1186/s12992-021-00671-x. Full Text

Teteh, Dede K., et al. “Genetic ancestry, skin color and social attainment: The four cities study.Plos One, vol. 15, no. 8, Jan. 2020, p. e0237041. Epmc, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0237041. Full Text Open Access Copy

Adekile, A., et al. “The Sickle Cell Disease Ontology: Enabling universal sickle cell-based knowledge representation.” Database, vol. 2019, Nov. 2019. Scopus, doi:10.1093/database/baz118. Full Text Open Access Copy

Blanchard, Jessica W., et al. “"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, vol. 60, no. 5, Oct. 2019, pp. 637–55. Epmc, doi:10.1086/705483. Full Text

Bulgin, Dominique, et al. “Twelve tips for teaching a comprehensive disease-focused course with a global perspective: A sickle cell disease example.Medical Teacher, vol. 41, no. 3, Mar. 2019, pp. 275–81. Epmc, doi:10.1080/0142159x.2017.1420151. Full Text

Callier, Shawneequa L., et al. “Cardiologists' Perspectives on Race-Based Drug Labels and Prescribing Within the Context of Treating Heart Failure.Health Equity, vol. 3, no. 1, Jan. 2019, pp. 246–53. Epmc, doi:10.1089/heq.2018.0074. Full Text

Baker, Charlotte, et al. “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, Dec. 2018, pp. 564–73. Epmc, doi:10.1016/j.jnma.2018.03.004. Full Text Open Access Copy


Dula, Annette, et al. “The ethical and social implications of exploring African American genealogies.Developing World Bioethics, vol. 3, no. 2, 2003, pp. 133–41. Epmc, doi:10.1046/j.1471-8731.2003.00069.x. Full Text