Asthma and asthma-related traits are complex diseases with strong genetic and environmental components. Rapid progress in asthma genetics has led to the identification of several candidate genes that are associated with asthma-related traits. Typically the phenotypic impact of each of these genes, including the ones most often replicated in association studies, is mild, but larger effects may occur when multiple variants synergize within a permissive environmental context. Despite the achievements made in asthma genetics formidable challenges remain. The development of novel, powerful tools for gene discovery, and a closer integration of genetics and biology, should help to overcome these challenges.