This book contains the proceedings of the first meeting on invertebrate immunity ever sponsored as a summer research conference by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). The conference was held in Copper Mountain, CO from July 11-16, 1999. It was a an extension of a New York Academy of Sciences meeting entitled "Primordial Immunity: Foundations for the Vertebrate Immune System" held on May 2-5,1993 at the Marine Biological Laboratories in Woods Hole, MA. The proceedings of that meeting were published in The Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences (volume 712). At that meeting all the attendes agreed that this type of conference (a relatively small focused gathering) allowed for participation by investigators at all levels of their careers. We further agreed that we should search for a forum that would allow this meeting to continue. The FASEB Summer Research Conference was an excellent vehicle for this type of meeting. Furthermore, this year's participants decided to continue this meeting as a regularly scheduled FASEB sponsored event. This was a unique conference in the sense that it focused upon mechanisms of development and defense in protostome and deuterostome invertebrates and lower vertebrates. There was a strong emphasis on evolutionary cell biology, phylogenetic inferences and the evolution of recognition and regulatory systems.