Brown speaker to discuss disease

By Hana Al-Henaid

Public health expert Peter Katona (Lindsay ’03 and Joey ’06) will be featured as this year’s Brown Family speaker in an all-school assembly on April 19, according to Executive Assistant to the President Ann-Marie Whitman.

Katona works at UCLA Medical Center as a specialist in infectious diseases and is the Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine.

He also studied infectious disease for two months at St. George’s Hospital in London and two months at Holdsworth Memorial Hospital in Mysore, India.

He has made appearances on several television shows including “The Today Show” on NBC and “ABC World News Tonight.”

He is a public health expert who also serves as a consultant to the Pentagon on biological warfare and he has written two books, “Countering Terrorism and WMD” and “Global Biosecurity.”

Both books focus on preserving biohealth and countering various biosecurity threats.

Katona will speak to AP Biology and Genetics classes before the assembly.

Katona is likely to address “why the H1N1 flu did not materialize to the extent many had feared and will also speak to the way that influenza and other viruses can mutate in such ways as to become worldwide health hazards,” Whitman said.

The Brown Family Distinguished Speaker Fund was established by Linda and Abbott Brown (Russell ’94 and David ’96) in 2000 as an endowment to bring notable lecturers to the school every year.

Past speakers include documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, author and host of his own international affairs program on CNN and director of the documentary “National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” “Newsweek International” editor Fareed Zakaria and music icon Herbie Hancock.