Judith S. Bond was born in New York City. She earned a B.A. at Bennington College in Vermont and an M.S. and Ph.D. at Rutgers University. Her thesis work, performed with John Bird, was on protein degradation in muscular dystrophy. Bond then did postdoctoral work on the mechanism of action of glyceraldehyde phosphate dehydrogenase with Jane H. Park at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1968, she joined the faculty of the Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, in the Department of Biochemistry and rose through the ranks to professor in 1985. In 1988, she became professor and head of biochemistry and nutrition at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), the first woman department head in the 130-year-old College of Agriculture. In 1992, she became professor and chair of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Pennsylvania State University, the first woman department chair at Penn State's College of Medicine, where she remains today.
In 1980, Bond and her colleagues discovered metalloproteinases called "meprins." These membrane-bound and secreted zinc-containing proteases are highly expressed in kidney and intestinal tissues. In the 1980s, Bond's group focused on the basic structure and function of these proteases. In the 1990s she and others cloned and sequenced the meprins and discovered that they were part of an evolutionary-related group called "astacins" and a superfamily called "metzincins." The meprins are structurally unique metalloproteins with distinct domain and oligomeric structures. The oligomers concentrate proteolytic activity at the cell surface and in extracellular spaces and are thought to be involved in host defense and modulation of proteins at the cell surface. Recently these proteases have been implicated in diabetic nephropathy, end-stage renal disease, urinary tract infections, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancer.
Bond chaired the National Institutes of Health Biochemistry Study Section and was a member of the NIH National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Advisory Council. She received Virginia's Outstanding Scientist Award in 1889. She was president of the Association of Medical and Graduate Departments of Biochemistry and is a member of the Association of American Medical Colleges Steering Committee GREAT (Graduate, Research, Education and Training) Group (2003â€“2006). She was president of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from 2004 to 2006 and is currently an associate editor of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.