Charles A Gersbach


Rooney Family Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Rooney Family Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Associate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society
  • Member of the Duke Cancer Institute
  • Affiliate of the Regeneration Next Initiative

Contact Information


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

Research Interests

Dr. Gersbach's research interests are in gene therapy, biomolecular and cellular engineering, regenerative medicine, and synthetic biology.


Drug Delivery
Tissue Repair, Tissue Engineering
Polymer and Protein Engineering
Biological Materials

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • 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
  • NIH Director’s New Innovator Award. National Institutes of Health. 2011
  • Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award. Oak Ridge Associated Universities. 2011
  • Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award. The Hartwell Foundation. 2010

Courses Taught

  • BME 260L: Modeling Cellular and Molecular Systems
  • 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 791: Graduate Independent Study
  • BME 792: Continuation of Graduate Independent Study
  • EGR 393: Research Projects in Engineering
  • EGR 491: Projects in Engineering

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Black, JB; Adler, AF; Wang, H-G; D'Ippolito, AM; Hutchinson, HA; Reddy, TE; Pitt, GS; Leong, KW; Gersbach, CA, Targeted Epigenetic Remodeling of Endogenous Loci by CRISPR/Cas9-Based Transcriptional Activators Directly Converts Fibroblasts to Neuronal Cells., Cell Stem Cell, vol 19 no. 3 (2016), pp. 406-414 [10.1016/j.stem.2016.07.001] [abs].
  • Maeder, ML; Gersbach, CA, Genome-editing Technologies for Gene and Cell Therapy., Molecular Therapy, vol 24 no. 3 (2016), pp. 430-446 [10.1038/mt.2016.10] [abs].
  • Thakore, PI; Black, JB; Hilton, IB; Gersbach, CA, Editing the epigenome: technologies for programmable transcription and epigenetic modulation., Nature Methods, vol 13 no. 2 (2016), pp. 127-137 [10.1038/nmeth.3733] [abs].
  • Nelson, CE; Hakim, CH; Ousterout, DG; Thakore, PI; Moreb, EA; Castellanos Rivera, RM; Madhavan, S; Pan, X; Ran, FA; Yan, WX; Asokan, A; Zhang, F; Duan, D; Gersbach, CA, In vivo genome editing improves muscle function in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy., Science (New York, N.Y.), vol 351 no. 6271 (2016), pp. 403-407 [10.1126/science.aad5143] [abs].
  • Thakore, PI; D'Ippolito, AM; Song, L; Safi, A; Shivakumar, NK; Kabadi, AM; Reddy, TE; Crawford, GE; Gersbach, CA, Highly specific epigenome editing by CRISPR-Cas9 repressors for silencing of distal regulatory elements., Nature Methods, vol 12 no. 12 (2015), pp. 1143-1149 [10.1038/nmeth.3630] [abs].
  • Hilton, IB; D'Ippolito, AM; Vockley, CM; Thakore, PI; Crawford, GE; Reddy, TE; Gersbach, CA, Epigenome editing by a CRISPR-Cas9-based acetyltransferase activates genes from promoters and enhancers., Nature Biotechnology, vol 33 no. 5 (2015), pp. 510-517 [10.1038/nbt.3199] [abs].
  • Polstein, LR; Gersbach, CA, A light-inducible CRISPR-Cas9 system for control of endogenous gene activation., Nature Chemical Biology, vol 11 no. 3 (2015), pp. 198-200 [10.1038/nchembio.1753] [abs].
  • Ousterout, DG; Kabadi, AM; Thakore, PI; Majoros, WH; Reddy, TE; Gersbach, CA, Multiplex CRISPR/Cas9-based genome editing for correction of dystrophin mutations that cause Duchenne muscular dystrophy., Nature Communications, vol 6 (2015) [10.1038/ncomms7244] [abs].
  • Perez-Pinera, P; Kocak, DD; Vockley, CM; Adler, AF; Kabadi, AM; Polstein, LR; Thakore, PI; Glass, KA; Ousterout, DG; Leong, KW; Guilak, F; Crawford, GE; Reddy, TE; Gersbach, CA, RNA-guided gene activation by CRISPR-Cas9-based transcription factors., Nat Methods, vol 10 no. 10 (2013), pp. 973-976 [10.1038/nmeth.2600] [abs].