Gorgas Science Foundation (GSF) was established in Brownsville in 1947 by Texas Southmost College Biology Professor Barbara T. Warburton. In 1983, Mrs. Warburton along with former students and local volunteers formally incorporated GSF as a 501(c)3 foundation.
The name honors Dr. William Crawford Gorgas. William C. Gorgas served at Fort Brown (now UT-Brownsville) from 1882-1884. While there, he was stricken with yellow fever, leaving him immune. Gorgas read the research of Carlos Finlay and Walter Reed linking malaria and yellow fever to the Aedes aegypti species of mosquito. He conducted his earliest yellow fever research while at Fort Brown. Later, while in Havana, he helped end a city-wide epidemic by draining mosquito breeding areas. In 1902 Gorgas left Havana for the Panama Canal construction, an area where yellow fever had decimated those laboring to build the canal. He brought the disease under control within 18 months using similar mosquito control techniques. Later he served as Surgeon General of the United States Army. In the early years, Gorgas Science Society met in the former hospital wards of Fort Brown where Gorgas worked.