Dr. Katona received his BS degree in electrical engineering at the University of Michigan in 1960, and his MS and ScD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1962 and 1965, respectively. He was on the faculty of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University from 1969 to 1991, and served as chairman of his department from 1980 to 1988. During 1989-91 he was Program Director for Biomedical Engineering and Aiding the Disabled at the National Science Foundation. In 1991, Dr. Katona joined The Whitaker Foundation as Vice President for Biomedical Engineering. His responsibility was to design and administer grant programs that would enhance and establish educational programs in biomedical engineering at US universities. In July 2000, he was appointed President and CEO, a position he held until the Foundation's closing in June 2006. He was appointed Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at George Mason University in September 2006.
Dr. Katona is the author of over 50 scientific papers on the control of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. He is also the author of several papers on biomedical engineering as a profession. He served as president of the Biomedical Engineering Society in 1984-85, and is now a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), and the cardiovascular section of the American Physiological Society. He served on numerous advisory committees of academic, government, and private organizations. Dr. Katona is the recipient of a Distinguished Service Award from the Biomedical Engineering Society in 2005, and the Pierre Galletti Award from AIMBE in 2006.