Charmaine DM Royal

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 Royal is Associate 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. At Duke Social Science Research Institute, 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 interdisciplinary and global, focusing on implications of genetics and genomics research, particularly social, ethical, clinical, and scientific issues at the intersection of genetics and “race”. Her major interest is in addressing causes and consequences of racism and use of “race” in research, healthcare, and society. She serves on numerous domestic and international professional committees and boards pertaining to her work.

Dr. Royal received 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

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

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.

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

Blanchard, J. 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. Scopus, 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

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

Nelson, Sarah C., et al. “A content analysis of the views of genetics professionals on race, ancestry, and genetics.Ajob Empirical Bioethics, vol. 9, no. 4, Oct. 2018, pp. 222–34. Epmc, doi:10.1080/23294515.2018.1544177. Full Text Open Access Copy

Outram, S., et al. “Genes, Race, and Causation: US Public Perspectives About Racial Difference.” Race and Social Problems, vol. 10, no. 2, June 2018, pp. 79–90. Scopus, doi:10.1007/s12552-018-9223-7. Full Text Open Access Copy

Christensen, Kurt D., 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, vol. 20, no. 1, Jan. 2018, pp. 132–41. Epmc, doi:10.1038/gim.2017.103. Full Text

McDonald, Mary Anne, et al. “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, Dec. 2017, pp. 1292–300. Epmc, doi:10.1007/s10897-017-0107-6. Full Text

Ifekwunigwe, Jayne O., et al. “A Qualitative Analysis of How Anthropologists Interpret the Race Construct.American Anthropologist, vol. 119, no. 3, Sept. 2017, pp. 422–34. Epmc, doi:10.1111/aman.12890. Full Text

Blanchard, Jessica W., et al. “Barriers and Strategies Related to Qualitative Research on Genetic Ancestry Testing in Indigenous Communities.Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics : Jerhre, vol. 12, no. 3, July 2017, pp. 169–79. Epmc, doi:10.1177/1556264617704542. Full Text


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