Borden grew up in Greensboro, NC and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she majored in Chemistry. She received her Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley in 1999, elucidating the first crystal structure of botulinum neurotoxin. She then spent six years as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard Medical School. While there, she made contributions toward the understanding of anthrax toxin cellular entry through studies aimed at receptor-binding, pore formation, and enzymatic protein delivery. Borden joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2006 and has continued her study of bacterial protein toxins with a current focus on understanding the structures and distinct virulence properties of the Clostridioides difficile toxins and proteins related to the virulence of Helicobacter pylori. She is a Professor in the Departments of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology and of Biochemistry and holds the Nancy and Edward Fody Chair of Pathology. Borden is a fellow of the American Academy for the Advancement of Sciences and the American Academy of Microbiology. She also serves as the Director for the Vanderbilt Center for Structural Biology.