Charles was born in Madison, WI and grew up in Wauwatosa, WI where he attended Marquette University High School before going to Washington University in St. Louis (WashU). While at WashU he played football for four years as a defensive tackle and majored in Chemistry and German (B.A. 2008). Charles attended Northwestern University for graduate school and completed a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry (2012) under the supervision of Chad A. Mirkin. At Northwestern he served as President of the Alpha Gamma Chapter of Phi Lambda Upsilon, a co-ed chemistry honors fraternity, and received the Edmund W. Gelewitz Award for Outstanding Senior Graduate Student (2012). From 2013-2016 he was a postdoctoral researcher with Clifford P. Kubiak at the University of California, San Diego. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Virginia.
In his spare time Charles enjoys brewing beer and hiking with his wife Amanda, his daughter Harriet, and their very active Brittany, Tucker.