Gas turbines are used for aircraft propulsion and land-based power generation or industrial applications. Thermal efficiency and power output of gas turbines increase with increasing turbine rotor inlet temperatures (RIT). Current advanced gas turbine engines operate at turbine RIT (1700 °C) far higher than the melting point of the blade material (1000 °C); therefore, turbine blades are cooled by compressor discharge air (700 °C). To design an efficient cooling system, it is a great need to increase the understanding of gas turbine heat transfer behaviors within complex 3D high-turbulence unsteady engine-flow environments. Moreover, recent research focuses on aircraft gas turbines operating at even higher RIT with limited cooling air and land-based gas turbines burn coal-gasified fuels with a higher heat load. It is important to understand and solve gas turbine heat transfer problems under new harsh working environments. The advanced cooling technology and durable thermal barrier coatings play critical roles for the development of advanced gas turbines with near zero emissions for safe and long-life operation. This paper reviews fundamental gas turbine heat transfer research topics and documents important relevant papers for future research.