Principal Investigator (PI)

A principal investigator (PI) is the lead scientist or engineer for a particular well-defined science (or other research) project, such as a laboratory study or clinical trial. It is often used as a synonym for “head of the laboratory,” not just for a particular study.

In the context of a clinical trial a PI may be an academic working with grants from NIH or other funding agencies, or may be effectively a contractor for a pharmaceutical company working on testing the safety and efficacy of new medicines.


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