Charles Gersbach

John W. Strohbehn Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Appointments and Affiliations

  • John W. Strohbehn Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Associate Professor of Surgery
  • Associate Professor in Cell Biology
  • Associate Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Affiliate of the Duke Regeneration Center
  • Core Faculty in Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Associate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society
  • Member of the Duke Cancer Institute

Contact Information


  • B.S. Georgia Institute of Technology, 2001
  • Ph.D. Georgia Institute of Technology, 2006

Research Interests

Gene therapy, genomics and epigenomics, biomolecular and cellular engineering, regenerative medicine, and synthetic biology.

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Fellow (NAI). National Academy of Inventors. 2022
  • John W. Strohbehn Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering . Duke University. 2021
  • Stansell Family Distinguished Research Award . Pratt School of Engineering. 2019
  • Allen Distinguished Investigator. Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group. 2017
  • Fellow. American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. 2017
  • Thomas Langford Lectureship Award. Duke University. 2016
  • Outstanding New Investigator. American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy. 2014
  • Capers and Marion McDonald Teaching and Research Award. Duke University. 2013
  • Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program. National Science Foundation. 2012
  • Rising Star Award. Society for Physical Regulation in Biology and Medicine. 2012
  • Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Research Award. March of Dimes Foundation. 2011
  • Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award. Oak Ridge Associated Universities. 2011
  • NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. National Institutes of Health. 2011
  • Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award. The Hartwell Foundation. 2010

Courses Taught

  • PHARM 494: Research Independent Study
  • PHARM 493: Research Independent Study
  • EGR 393: Research Projects in Engineering
  • CELLBIO 493: Research Independent Study
  • BME 590L: Special Topics with Lab
  • BME 564L: Genome Engineering Lab (GE, MC)
  • BME 562: Biology by Design (GE, MC)
  • BME 494: Projects in Biomedical Engineering (GE)
  • BME 493: Projects in Biomedical Engineering (GE)
  • BME 394: Projects in Biomedical Engineering (GE)

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Black, Joshua B., Andrew F. Adler, Hong-Gang Wang, Anthony M. D’Ippolito, Hunter A. Hutchinson, Timothy E. Reddy, Geoffrey S. Pitt, Kam W. Leong, and Charles A. Gersbach. “Targeted Epigenetic Remodeling of Endogenous Loci by CRISPR/Cas9-Based Transcriptional Activators Directly Converts Fibroblasts to Neuronal Cells.” Cell Stem Cell 19, no. 3 (September 1, 2016): 406–14.
  • Maeder, Morgan L., and Charles A. Gersbach. “Genome-editing Technologies for Gene and Cell Therapy.” Molecular Therapy : The Journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy 24, no. 3 (March 2016): 430–46.
  • Thakore, Pratiksha I., Joshua B. Black, Isaac B. Hilton, and Charles A. Gersbach. “Editing the epigenome: technologies for programmable transcription and epigenetic modulation.” Nature Methods 13, no. 2 (February 2016): 127–37.
  • Nelson, Christopher E., Chady H. Hakim, David G. Ousterout, Pratiksha I. Thakore, Eirik A. Moreb, Ruth M. Castellanos Rivera, Sarina Madhavan, et al. “In vivo genome editing improves muscle function in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.” Science 351, no. 6271 (January 22, 2016): 403–7.
  • Thakore, Pratiksha I., Anthony M. D’Ippolito, Lingyun Song, Alexias Safi, Nishkala K. Shivakumar, Ami M. Kabadi, Timothy E. Reddy, Gregory E. Crawford, and Charles A. Gersbach. “Highly specific epigenome editing by CRISPR-Cas9 repressors for silencing of distal regulatory elements.” Nat Methods 12, no. 12 (December 2015): 1143–49.
  • Hilton, Isaac B., Anthony M. D’Ippolito, Christopher M. Vockley, Pratiksha I. Thakore, Gregory E. Crawford, Timothy E. Reddy, and Charles A. Gersbach. “Epigenome editing by a CRISPR-Cas9-based acetyltransferase activates genes from promoters and enhancers.” Nat Biotechnol 33, no. 5 (May 2015): 510–17.
  • Polstein, Lauren R., and Charles A. Gersbach. “A light-inducible CRISPR-Cas9 system for control of endogenous gene activation.” Nature Chemical Biology 11, no. 3 (March 2015): 198–200.
  • Ousterout, David G., Ami M. Kabadi, Pratiksha I. Thakore, William H. Majoros, Timothy E. Reddy, and Charles A. Gersbach. “Multiplex CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing for correction of dystrophin mutations that cause Duchenne muscular dystrophy.” Nat Commun 6 (February 18, 2015): 6244.
  • Perez-Pinera, Pablo, D Dewran Kocak, Christopher M. Vockley, Andrew F. Adler, Ami M. Kabadi, Lauren R. Polstein, Pratiksha I. Thakore, et al. “RNA-guided gene activation by CRISPR-Cas9-based transcription factors.” Nat Methods 10, no. 10 (October 2013): 973–76.