The School of Tropical Medicine was established in 1926 as a research institute for learning the causes of anemia and how to treat it. This condition is characterized by a low number of red blood cells resulting in inadequate oxygenation of the body. In Puerto Rico, a significant percent of the population suffered from the malady because of hookworm. The school’s founder, Bailey K. Ashford, helped cure over 300,000 residents. The institute also addressed other diseases common in the tropics. In 1949, Escuela de Medicina Tropical was merged with the School of Medicine of the University of Puerto Rico. The building by architect Rafael Carmoega is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.