Stefan Kopeć (Jan 22,1888 – † March 11, 1941) was a Polish biologist and pioneer of insect endocrinology, who studied at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. He received his PhD. there in 1912, and worked at Puławy Agricultural Research Station in Poland between 1915 and 1920. In 1929 he was made Director of the Institute. Between 1908 and 1927, Kopec published at least 17 papers, in Polish, English and German, on insect endocrinology in various professional journals.
Kopeć began his studies of the moulting of insects with Lymantria Dispar  from specimens caught in the wild. His subsequent scientific activities helped determine the role of the insect brain in hormone production. He was the earliest researcher to understand the importance of the insect brain, as is demonstrated by his statement in a 1917 paper:
“ For the normal process of metamorphosis the presence of the brain, at least up to a certain moment, is indispensable... ”
Kopec's most significant contribution was his study of neurosecretory cells in the brains of insects which secrete a crucial growth hormone, prothoracicotropic hormone (PTTH), which regulates the process of metamorphosis (ecdysteroidogenesis). He observed that nervous tissue could behave like an endocrine gland. This discovery stimulated further scientific research leading to the establishment of the field of science known as neuroendocrinology. Kopec's work was cut short due to his arrest by the Gestapo in 1940 together with his daughter Maria and son Stanislaw in an action against the Polish underground university. He was imprisoned at the Pawiak Prison in Warsaw and executed by the Germans in 1941 at Palmiry, near Warsaw, together with his son as a reprisal against an action of the Polish underground army, as a part of the German AB-Aktion in Poland.
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- On the Influence of Intermittent Starvation on the Longevity of the Imaginal Stage of Drosophiia Melanogaster, in The Journal of Experimental Biology, Vol. 5, March 1928: pp 204-211. retrieved 2011-10-07.
- The influence of the nervous system on the development and regeneration of muscles and integument in insects (1923)] doi:10.1002/jez.1400370103
- Studies on the necessity of the brain for the inception of insect metamorphosis
- On the offspring of rabbit-does mated with two sires simultaneously (Jan 1, 1923) GOVERNMENT INSTITUTE FOR AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH, POLAND doi:10.1007/BF02983070
- Physiological self-differentiation of the wing-germs grafted on caterpillars of the opposite sex Paper from the Embryologico-Biological Laboratory, Jagellonian University, Cracow, Poland, presented in the Acad. of Sc. Cracow. (Cf. Bull. Acad. d. Sc. de Cracovie, 1917.)
- Is the Insect Metamorphosis influenced by thyroid feeding ? Biological Bulletin Vol. 50, No. 4 (Apr., 1926), pp. 339–354 (article consists of 16 pages) Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1536468
- Experiments on the dependence of the nuptial hue on the gonads in fish Biologia Generalis, 1927
- STUDIES ON THE INFLUENCE OF INANITION ON THE DEVELOPMENT AND THE DURATION OF LIFE IN INSECTS Biol. (Bull. January 1, 1924 vol. 46 no. 1 1-21)
- [ and Alan W. Greenwood ] The effect of yolk injections on the plumage of an ovariotomised brown leghron hen (Mar 1, 1930) Development Genes and Evolution Volume 121, Numbers 1-2, 87-95, doi:10.1007/BF00644945
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- Sláma, Karel, Insect Endocrinology: A Tribute to Stefan Kopeć, from Historical figures in Insect Physiology, University of California, Riverside, retrieved 2011-10-07. This article originally appeared on pages 11-15 of Insects, Chemical, physiological and evironmental aspects, Wydawnictwo Univwersytetu Wrocławskiego, ed. By Danuta Konopińska, University of Wrocław, 1995.
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- Susan E Fahrbach, Karen A Mesce mendeley.com website "Neuroethoendocrinology": integration of field and laboratory studies in insect neuroendocrinology. Hormones and Behavior (2005) Volume: 48, Issue: 4, Pages: 352-359 [Retrieved 2011-12-19]
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- Welcome to VII-th International Conference
- ( and : JTOR
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- Belgaum S. Thyagaraja, Thomas J. Kelly, Edward P. Masler, Dale B. Gelman, Robert A. Bell, Richard B. Imberski (sciencedirect.com website) Kopec revisited—Neuroendocrine regulation of metamorphosis in the gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar): Development of a larval in vivo assay for prothoracicotropic hormone Journal of Insect PhysiologyVolume 38, Issue 11, November 1992, Pages 925-938 doi:10.1016/0022-1910(92)90104-L
- DFG Aktualisierungsdatum 2010-11 list of publications - Kopec et al. [Retrieved 2011-2-19]