Gliomas are the most frequently occurring primary malignancies in the central nervous system, and glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and most aggressive of these tumors. Despite vigorous basic and clinical studies over past decades, the median survival of patients with this disease remains at about one year. Recent studies have suggested that GBMs contain a subpopulation of tumor cells that displays stem cell characteristics and could therefore be responsible for in vivo tumor growth. We will summarize the major oncogenic pathways abnormally regulated in gliomas, and review the recent findings from mouse models that our laboratory as well as others have developed for the study of GBM. The concept of cancer stem cells in GBM and their potential therapeutic importance will also be discussed.