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The Impact of Vaping on Human Esophageal Keratinocytes

By Siaka kosha, sophonie calixte, & kyle stump

Siaka Kosha is a senior at Millersville University majoring in Biology with a concentration in Pre-Medical Professions. With the guidance of Dr. Heather Lehman, Siaka conducted research on the effects of vaping on human esophageal keratinocytes. In the fall of 2021, he was exposed to cell culturing techniques, which he attempted to apply to potential problems facing subsets of American populations. His research focuses on one aspect of a greater issue: the biological and physiological effects of increased vaping rates in American adolescents and teenagers. 

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A primary factor that drove Siaka to work on this project is the potential for future projects on this topic; although multiple studies have been conducted regarding nicotinic effects on respiratory tissues, there have been few published studies on the biological effects of aerosolized vape on bodily tissues collectively, and even less on the biological effects on esophageal tissues. Part of what drove Siaka to do this research was his goal to address relatively unknown and undocumented biological topics. He hopes to further develop the cell culturing/abstract thinking skills and knowledge he has acquired during this project as he continues towards his medical career aspirations.

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