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Vaniam Group Hires Rebecca Davis Howard to Helm Expansion into Virology and Rare Diseases

Dr. Howard brings nearly 15 years of leadership experience within medical communications agencies
Rebecca David Howard, Executive Vice President of Virology and Rare Diseases at vaniam Group

CHICAGO, January 10, 2023 — Vaniam Group today announced the hiring of Rebecca Davis Howard, PhD, as the company’s first Executive Vice President of Virology and Rare Diseases. While Vaniam Group will remain the premier independent medical communications agency primarily focused on oncology and hematology, Dr. Howard will oversee the company’s expansion into other blood diseases such as HIV, sickle cell, and beta thalassemia.

“For more than 15 years, Vaniam Group has established itself as a trusted partner for pharmaceutical companies focused on oncology and hematology,” said Deanna B. van Gestel, Vaniam Group’s founder and CEO. “However, our clients increasingly are asking us to manage their medical communications around their other specialty products and pipelines. Our past success is the result of our team’s passion for understanding the therapeutic landscape, connecting with specialist healthcare providers, and communicating with clarity. These same qualities will continue to differentiate us as we expand into these other specialty diseases, helping our clients maximize the potential of their high-science pipelines.”

Jennifer Buffington Herzog, Vaniam Group’s President, added: “Becky Howard has distinguished herself as one of the country’s top leaders in the medical communications industry. She understands the science, she is at ease with experts across the medical community, and she knows how to position her pharmaceutical clients for success. More importantly, as a leader, she inspires and motivates her teams to do great work and grow their careers. I am thrilled to see her in action at Vaniam Group.”

Dr. Howard responded: “From afar, I have watched Vaniam Group grow from a boutique agency to a powerhouse within the oncology and hematology space. I am honored to help expand into these additional disease areas while maintaining what has always made Vaniam Group special: the science, the physician network, and the passion to impact patient lives. I look forward to working side-by-side with such a dynamic team.”    

Dr. Howard possesses nearly 15 years of experience driving results within the medical communications industry, most recently as the owner of the consultancy Oncology Acumen. Previously, she held leadership positions at Conisus, E Squared Communications, and Publicis Healthcare Communications Group. Dr. Howard earned her Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in molecular biology at the University of Central Florida; she received her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in cancer biology, with honors, from the University of South Florida’s Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute. 

About Vaniam Group

Vaniam Group is a people-first, purpose-driven, independent network of healthcare and scientific communications agencies committed to helping biopharmaceutical companies realize the full potential of their pipelines. Founded in 2007 as a virtual-by-design organization, Vaniam Group harnesses the talents and expertise of team members around the world. For more information, visit  

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