Circadian clocks are present in most cells and are essential for maintenance of daily rhythms in physiology, mood, and cognition. Thus, not only neurons of the central circadian pacemaker but also many other peripheral tissues possess the same functional and self-sustained circadian clocks. Surprisingly, however, their properties vary widely within the human population. In recent years, this clock variance has been studied extensively both in health and in disease using robust lentivirus-based reporter technologies to probe circadian function in human peripheral cells as proxies for those in neurologically and physiologically relevant but inaccessible tissues. The same procedures can be used to investigate other conserved signal transduction cascades affecting multiple aspects of human physiology, behavior, and disease. Accessing gene expression variation within human populations via these powerful in vitro cell-based technologies could provide important insights into basic phenotypic diversity or to better interpret patterns of gene expression variation in disease.