Stephen J. Free


Stephen J. Free.

Stephen J. Free


Stephen J. Free


Professor, SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, Meyerson Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching and Mentoring

Contact Information

370 Cooke Hall

Buffalo NY, 14260

Phone: (716) 645-4935


  • PhD, Stanford University
  • Postdoctoral Research, University of Wisconsin

Office Hours

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 12:00 - 1:00pm

Research Summary

Our laboratory is interested in the Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology of the filamentous fungi. We are currently engaged in a research project to characterize how female development is regulated in Neurospora crassa. We have identified a number of transcription factors and signal transduction pathways that function to control female development. We are also characterizing cell wall biosynthesis in N. crassaem. We have identified the major proteins present in the cell wall. We are in the processin the process of characterizing how these proteins function. We have recently identified two enzymes that function in the incorporation of cell wall proteins into the cell wall.

Selected Publications

  •  Ao, J., Chinnici, J.L. Maddi, A., and Free, S.J. (2015) The N-linked outer chain mannans and the Dfg5p and Dcw1p endo-α-1,6-mannanases are needed for incorporation of Candida albicans glycoproteins into the cell wall. Eukaryot Cell 14:792-803.
  • Chinnici, J., Fu, C., Caccamise, L.M., Arnold, J., and Free, S.J. (2014) Neurospora crassa female development requires the PACC and other signal transduction pathways, transcription factors, chromatin remodeling, cell-to-cell fusion, and autophagy. PLoS ONE 9:e110603 doi:10:1371/journal.pone.0110603
  • Fu, C., Dettman, A., Seiler, S., and Free, S.J. (2014) Characterization of the Neurospora crassa cells fusion proteins, HAM-6, HAM-7, HAM-8, HAM-9, HAM-10, AMPH-1 and WHI-2. PloS ONE 9:e107773 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.10773
  • Fu, C., Sokolow, E., Rupert, C.B., and Free, S.J. (2014) The Neurospora crassa CPS-1 polysaccharide synthase functions in cell wall biogenesis. Fungal Genet. Biol. 69:23-30 doi:10.1016/j.fgb.2014.05.009
  • Fu, C., Tanaka, A., and Free, S.J. (2014) The Neurospora crassa α-1,3-glucan synthase, AGS-1, is required for cell wall biosynthesis during macroconidia development. Microbiol. 160:1618-1627. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.080002-0.
  • Free, S.J. (2013) Fungal Cell Wall Organization and Biosynthesis.  In T. Friedman, J.C. Dunlap, and S.F. Goodwin eds. Advances in Genetics 81:33-82.
  • Maddi, A., Fu, C., and Free, S.J. (2012) The Neurospora crassa dfg5 and dcw1 genes encode a-1,6-mannanases that function in the incorporation of glycoproteins into the cell wall. PLoS ONE 7:e38872 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038872.
  • Maddi, A., Dettmann, A., Fu, C., Seiler, S. and Free, S.J. (2012) WSC-1 and HAM-7 are MAK-1 MAP kinase pathway sensors required for cell wall integrity and hyphal fusion in Neurospora crassa. PLoS ONE 7:e42374 doi:10..1371/journal.pone.0042374.
  • Fu, C., Iyer, P., Herkal, A., Abdullah, J., Stout, A., and Free, S.J. (2011) Identification and characterization of genes required for cell fusion in Neurospora crassa. Eukaryot. Cell 10:1100-1109.
  • Maddi, A. and Free, S.J. (2010) α-1,6-mannosylation of N-linked oligosaccharide present on cell wall proteins is required for their incorporation into the cell wall in the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa. Eukaryot. Cell 9:1766-1775.
  • Aldabbous, M., Roca, M.G., Stout A., Huang, I-C, A., Read, N., and Free, S.J. (2010) The ham-5, rcm-1 and rco-1 genes regulate hyphal fusion in Neurospora crassa. Microbiol. 156:2621-2629.