The fourth annual meeting of the Complex Trait Consortium (CTC) was held in Groningen, the Netherlands on June 26-29, 2005. This meeting, which set a new attendance record, followed three previous and highly successful meetings. The focus at this meeting was on continued resource development and the exiting new field of systems genetics, the integration and anchoring of multi-dimensional data-types to underlying genetic variation. A new aspect at the meeting was the three-minute, 'come see my poster' presentations that generated significant interaction at the poster sessions. If the 2005 meeting is an indicator of things to come, future meetings promise to offer even more exciting research efforts to integrate high-throughput biological measurements with genetic variation to unravel the mechanisms responsible for inter-individual variation.