The diagnosis and management of the BCR-ABL-negative myeloproliferative disorders (MPDs) of polycythemia vera (PV), essential thrombocythemia (ET), and primary myelofibrosis (PMF) are at an explosive crossroads of scientific investigation and evolving paradigms since the discovery of the tyrosine kinase-activating JAK2V617F mutation in 2005. Additional discovery of relevant molecular lesions (JAK2 exon 12 mutations and c-MplW515L/K) have only further enriched our understanding of MPD pathogenesis. The improved diagnostic certainty these molecular markers provide have resulted in the modification, and simplification, of the World Health Organization (WHO) diagnostic algorithms for MPDs. Despite these scientific advances, however, the initial management of MPDs continues to rely upon a risk-based strategy to minimize the risk of vascular events with control of erythrocytosis, targeted antiplatelet therapy, and risk-based myelosuppressive therapy. No current medical therapy has altered the natural trend of the MPDs to lead to overt severe myelofibrosis or acute leukemia. Investigations into targeted therapies for MPDs are proceeding at a brisk pace with agents aimed at immunomodulation, decreasing marrow stromal reaction to the aberrant clone, DNA hypomethylation, or the inhibition of tyrosine kinases. Specific inhibition of JAK2 itself appears promising by in vitro investigations, and clinical trials with multiple agents are planned to commence enrollment in 2007. The potential impact of JAK2 inhibitors on the manifestations of the MPDs is unclear, but is awaited with great interest.