Marlene Bagatto, AuD, PhD, of the University of Western Ontario and the National Centre for Audiology is the recipient of the 2023 Marion Downs Pediatric Audiology Award. As noted by one of her nominators, Dr. Bagatto is one of the “world’s foremost experts in the provision of early hearing detection and intervention (EHDI) services and research in children with hearing loss.”

Her contributions to pediatric audiology are exceptional and include serving on a team that has developed and refined the desired sensation level (DSL) method, including the widely used real-ear-to-ear-coupler difference (RECD) measure for fitting hearing aids in children, the development of a pediatric outcome measurement protocol, participating in the implementation of the world’s first universal screening of congenital cytomegalovirus and genetics for hearing loss in Ontario, and recently providing fitting guidance for bone-conduction hearing devices.

She has been the author or co-author of nearly 100 professional publications, with 43 of these articles appearing in peer-reviewed journals. In addition to her research and clinical work, Dr. Bagatto has a significant history of leading the profession and being an advocate for those we serve, including being the chair of the Canadian Infant Hearing Task Force, a past president of the Canadian Academy of Audiology, and co-chairing the Sound Foundation International Pediatric Conferences. Dr. Bagatto is known among her colleagues as being humble and kind, and her impact has touched the lives of children globally.