Josef R. Scheuber obtained his Dr Med Vet degree in Zurich in 1920, with a thesis on the development of the hair and glands on the snout of the pig. He was interviewed with other young Swiss graduates by Sir Arnold Theiler* and proceeded to South Africa where he joined Dr E.M. Robinson* at the Allerton Laboratory in Natal in 1921. In 1923 he proceeded with Robinson to the Onderstepoort Veterinary Research Institute, near Pretoria, where they worked together in the Depertment of Bacteriology until his retirement in 1952. He also lectured for many years to the veterinary students in bacteriology. His special interest was the clostridial anaerobes, mainly Clostridium chauvoei and Clostridium welchii type B, while he was also responsible for the preparation of the Onderstepoort vaccines against blackquarter and lamb dysentery. In 1926 P.R. Viljoen* and he reported the results of their work on blackquarter immunisation, which extended over several years. Five years later Scheuber described the development of a combined vaccine which was effective against both blackquarter and malignant oedema.
He was no mean linguist, being able to speak and write English, Afrikaans, German, French, Italian, Portuguese and Latin, and also excelled in chess and bridge.