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What is this career/position called?

  1. Aug 14, 2006 #1
    What is the name used to describe the position/career of the head laboratory researcher directly responsible for the very synthesis/creation of drugs/medicines (if even on paper), employed by a private drug/medicinal company (e.g., Genentech, Pfizer, etc)?

    "Head of medicinal research/drug development"?

    (Not an administerial position! I am referring to the very head of the laboratory research (initially) responsible for bringing the drug/medicine into existence (...if even on paper...)...from whom the very process of "drug development" begins! Though this person might likely have additional research responsibilities....generally speaking, what is this position called?)
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 15, 2006 #2
    Well, the head is usually the CEO, President, etc. who delegates this to some Director, VP, etc., who delegates to the head of the department in charge of developing these things. Usually it's a medical doctor (MD) or doctor of pharmacology (Pharm D), but that's not always the case. However, don't for a minute think that you could get a position like this straight out of college. First you would owkr on a team of otehr folks who collectively develop these things based on someone else's ideas, then you would gain experience and knowledge, and eventually be able to
  4. Aug 15, 2006 #3
    Isn't there a more specific name for this position? (e.g., "head of laboratory research & drug development"?)
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2006
  5. Aug 16, 2006 #4
    Yes, but it varies from company to company
  6. Aug 16, 2006 #5


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    "Principal Investigator"?
  7. Aug 16, 2006 #6
    If he/she is directly involved in research, I don't think they would formally call it any kind of "head". As robphy said, principal investigator (PI) of such and such research laboratory sounds most plausible. I would think such a company would have multiple R&D labs, and each lab would have its own PI. I can't imagine one person being directly involved in the R&D of every single drug that comes out of a drug company.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2006
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