Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Chun-Min Lo, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Garrett Matthews, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Dale Johnson, Ph.D.


ECIS, junctional resistance, cell adhesion molecules, intravasation, extravasation


Cigarette smoke's influence on cancer has primarily been a subject of epidemilogic and tumorigenic studies. There have been no proper investigations with interests focused on how cigarette smoke affects the cellular mechanics of metastasis. Gathering an understanding of how smoke influences metastatic invasion could be vital in regulating or possibly eliminatings cancer's ability to initiate new tumor growth sites. This project focuses on cigarette smoke's influence on cellular mechanics of endothelial cells, and the invasive potential of cancer against a fully active endothelium. It is already known that cigarette smoke has a carcinogenic effect, but it is hypothesized that the cigarette smoke causes the endothelium to exhibit pro-invasive characteristics. Cancer cells are often ignorant to extra-cellular stimuli. It is suspected that there will be a less pronounced degradation of cellular mechanics of cancerous cells than endothelial cells when exposed to similar concentrations of cigarette smoke.