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 Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Associate Professor in Cell Biology
  • Member of the Duke Cancer Institute
  • Affiliate of the Duke Regeneration Center
  • Associate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society
  • Core Faculty in Innovation & Entrepreneurship

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.

Courses Taught

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

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.