René Tio is a cardiologist with a broad clinical experience. He received his MD degree at the Erasmus University Rotterdam and earned his Ph.D. degree at the Department of Clinical Pharmacology of the University of Groningen (bradykinin-dependent effects of ACE inhibitors on the heart). The clinical part of this research, carried out under guidance of Prof. Mancia at the hospital of the University of Milan, dealt with the effects of ACE inhibitors on the autonomic regulation of the coronary circulation.

After completing his training as a cardiologist, Dr. Tio was appointed to the staff of the Catheterization laboratory of the Thoraxcenter at the University Hospital Groningen; Where he has worked as an interventional cardiologist for more than 10 years.

As a clinical Postdoctoral Fellow in the dr. E. Dekker Program of the Netherlands Heart Foundation between 1995 and 1999, Dr. Tio studied the influence of the endothelium on coronary physiology and the relevance of endothelial dysfunction in patients with coronary artery disease. During this period, with support from the Interuniversity Cardiology Institute of the Netherlands, he was trained in molecular cardiology in the Experimental Cardiology Laboratory of Dr. J. Isner at St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Tufts University, Boston. There he studied the basic principles of angiogenic gene therapy in patients with endstage coronary heart disease. After this fellowship he started the first study on myocardial gene therapy for angiogenesis in Europe.

At present he is active in Medical Education as lecturer as well as chairman of the joint examination committee of the Medical and Dentistry curriculum and as project leader of a large curriculum renewal project at the King Faisal University at Al Ahsa. He is also chairman of the Dutch working group on inter-university progress testing. Finally, he was an active member of the project group International Bachelor in Medicine Groningen, which implemented a new completely English taught medical curriculum. In medical education his research interests lie in assessment, (cultural aspects of) curriculum renewal, and simulation training.