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Charmaine Royal

Associate Professor of African and African-American Studies and Global Health
1316 Campus Drive, 234 Ernestine Friedl Building, Box 90252, Durham, NC 27708
(919) 668-6515
Charmaine 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.



Title Number Level
Understanding Sickle Cell Disease: A Biopsychosocial Approach
Crosslisted as GLHLTH 569 AAAS 569 GLHLTH 569

This course provides students with an overview of sickle cell disease, including its genetics, epidemiology, pathophysiology, medical complications, psychosocial challenges, and health service utilization from a global perspective. Students will engage in an exploration of the role of discrimination and stigmatization as they affect people with sickle cell disease, as well as differences in how the disease is viewed and managed in various countries.

Course Notes:
Health in the African Diaspora
Crosslisted as CULANTH 660 GLHLTH 672

Exposes and explores the individual and joint contributions of biological and non-biological factors to health and wellbeing in peoples from various regions and countries of the African Diaspora. The course draws on a variety of disciplines, modes of inquiry, and health problems in comparative analyses of genetic, historical, political, and sociocultural dimensions of the African Diaspora. The content of the course is not limited to the transatlantic African Diaspora, includes other African Diaspora streams.

Course Notes:
AAAS 660
Race, Genomics, and Society
Crosslisted as BIOLOGY 261D GLHLTH 258D CULANTH 261D SCISOC 258D

The field of genetics has been at the forefront of discourse concerning the concept of %u201Crace%u201D in humans. This course explores human origins, human variation, human identity, and human health through a broad range of enduring and emerging themes and challenging questions related to race and genetics (and now, genomics) on a global scale. Students will acquire knowledge and skills required for integrative analyses of the relevant scientific, ethical, legal, societal, cultural, and psychosocial issues. Open to students at all levels from any discipline in the arts, humanities, and sciences (natural, social, formal, and applied). Instructor: Royal. One course. C-L: Science & Society 258D, Global Health 258D, Cultural Anthropology 261D, Biology 261D

Course Notes:
UG Only

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