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Dr. Travers' primary interest is in the study of the topology and organization of chromatin - both in bacteria and eukaryotes - with especial reference to the influence of the physicochemical properties of DNA. In the bacterium E. coli the focus is on the extent to which variation in the superhelical density of DNA determines the patterns of gene transcription during the growth cycle and how the structures generated by the different abundant nucleoid-associated proteins can affect these patterns. Related to this is a study probing to the relationship of RNA polymerase selectivity to the expression of metabolic pathways and, importantly, to the fundamental question, posed about 50 years ago by Maaloe and Kjelgaard, of how the production of the protein synthetic machinery is coordinated with growth rate. For eukaryotic chromatin the studies concentrate on the DNA organisation that is responsible for determining both the affinity of the histone octamer for DNA and its ability to be precisely positioned with respect to the DNA sequence.