Suzanne Cantando, the director of communications for venture capital firm Intersouth Partners in Durham, is taking over as leader of Southeast BIO, a trade organization focused on advancing the life science industry across the southeast.

The appointment was announced Tuesday.

“After 10 years of working at Intersouth (which I loved every day), I have left to become the executive director of Southeast BIO,” Cantando tells WRALTechWire.

“I am very excited – and glad that I’ll still be working closely with Intersouth, other VCs and the whole entrepreneurial community,” she adds.

[Contacted for his reaction, Dennis Dougherty, one of Intersouth’s founders, praised Cantando and wished her well. (Details online.]

SE BIO, which is based in Raleigh, puts on a major life science-focused startup and venture capital conference each year.

“I am excited to join Southeast BIO at this critical time, and look forward to working with the Board and our many volunteers to take this important organization to the next level,” Cantando said in a statement. “The Southeast is recognized as a hotbed of both life sciences research and development and entrepreneurial innovation – and Southeast BIO operates at their critical intersection. As we prepare for our 15th Annual Investor & Partnering Forum, it’s an ideal time to look ahead to our next 15 years of fostering and expanding life sciences in our region.”

Cantando replaced Jennifer Sherer, who had led Southeast BIO for four years, as of Sept. 5.

“We are very pleased to have Suzanne join as our new Executive Director,” said Becky Kaufman, chair of the Southeast BIO Board of Directors and partner with law firm King & Spalding. “Many of us have had the opportunity to work closely with her over the last 15 years and, with her knowledge, contacts and understanding of both the entrepreneurial and the investment communities, we know she will be a great asset to the organization. We look forward to her leadership in our efforts to support the continued growth of the life sciences industry in the region.”

Before joining Intersouth, Cantando worked in marketing and communications for a law firm and a technology startup. She also was one time was a program director with the Council for Entrepreneurial Development.