Eric D. Isaacs, executive vice president for research, innovation and national laboratories at the University of Chicago has been named as a 2017 fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the organization announced Tuesday.

Election to NAI Fellow status is the highest professional accolade bestowed solely to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and welfare of society.

Included among all NAI Fellows are more than 100 presidents and senior leaders of research universities and non-profit research institutes; 439 members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; 36 inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame; 52 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation and U.S. National Medal of Science; 29 Nobel Laureates; 261 AAAS Fellows; 168 IEEE Fellows; and 142 Fellows of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, among other awards and distinctions.

In his role as EVP, Isaacs oversees important endeavors in science and innovation that cut across divisions, schools and institutes, along with those initiatives’ connections to policy and industry. He provides direct oversight of Argonne and Fermilab and the University’s founding-partner relationship with the Giant Magellan Telescope project. He plays an important role in the University’s leadership efforts in innovation through the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Isaacs has helped champion the continued growth of the Polsky Center infrastructure and programming, which announced earlier this year that it will expand into a new innovation complex on 53rd Street. Through this expansion effort, the Polsky Center will serve as the region’s leading hub for collaborative research innovation, start-up creation and opportunities for local entrepreneurs in the key areas of advanced materials and advanced analytics.

The NAI was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society.

The new fellows will receive their honors in April at the annual NAI Conference in Washington, D.C.