The Janus kinase (JAK) signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) pathway is one of the main signaling pathways in eukaryotic cells. This pathway is used during diverse growth and developmental processes in multiple tissues to control cell proliferation, differentiation, survival, and apoptosis. In addition to its role during development, the JAK/STAT pathway has also been implicated in tumorigenesis. Drosophila melanogaster is a powerful genetic tool, and its eyes have been used extensively as a platform to study signaling pathways. Many reports have demonstrated that the JAK/STAT pathway plays pleiotropic roles in Drosophila eye development. Its functions and activation are decided by its interplay with other signal pathways and the epigenetic status. In this review, we focus on the functions and regulation of the JAK/STAT pathway during eye development and provide some insights into the study of this pathway in tumorigenesis. Developmental Dynamics 239:2522–2533, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.