Genetic epidemiology is a hybrid discipline whose ultimate aim is to identify and to characterize population-level factors that contribute to disease. Genetic epidemiologists often pursue this aim through the design and implementation of studies that simultaneously invoke principles in population genetics, epidemiology, molecular biology and biostatistics. However, traditional (and much contemporary) research in genetic epidemiology has barely tapped the potential that these disciplines have to work together. It is our view that future genetic epidemiology inquiry will benefit greatly from stronger integration of these disciplines and is likely to converge on themes in fields as diverse as demography, classical population and evolutionary genetics, pharmacoepidemiology, and ecology. The ultimate focus of this research will be evolution and maintenance of disease within and across populations.