We are currently addressing four major lines of research. (1) What are the primordial mechanisms used to generate an immune response? (2) Are there parallels between global developmental genome rearrangements seen in the jawless vertebrates and the programmed genome rearrangements in their immune system (variable lymphocyte receptors, VLRs)? (3) How have changes in genomic architecture and organization contributed to differences in body plans that we see amongst all metazoan species? (4) How has vertebrate chitin evolved?