Sam - Founder & Engineering Lead
Could you introduce yourself and say a little about your background.
Hey hey, I’m Sam (he/him). I’m Founder and Chair of Preptrack, where I am incredibly proud to be building and applying tech to support HIV prevention. Using tech in the right way gives us a valuable opportunity to do good at scale, and to reach a wide range of people who aren’t always those seen in a clinic. My background is in tech, broadly across both software engineering and machine learning research. I get really excited about solving problems, and love seeing a new feature come to life in Preptrack. I live in Cambridge with my partner, and spend my free time gardening, video gaming (talk to me about Stardew Valley!), and as of 2023, bouldering.
What do you do for work and what skills are you bringing to Preptrack?
I’m a PhD student in machine learning at Cambridge, where I work on understanding how well contemporary AI systems actually work, and whether they work equally well for all people (spoiler: they don’t). I love volunteering for Preptrack because it helps me to do something tangible, with measurable impact, in a way that fundamental research can rarely offer. Before starting my PhD I worked as a software engineer and machine learning researcher. I’ve previously worked on machine learning fairness at Meta, simulated financial crises at Goldman Sachs, built new retail banks at Thought Machine, and developed next-gen credit scoring approaches at Credit Kudos. At Preptrack, my role as Chair often has me doing a little bit of everything, though above all I try to support others, and make sure they have all they need to do their best. I also lead our growing team of talented engineers, as we turn our ideas into reality in Preptrack.
When did you first hear about Preptrack and why did you decide to get involved?
I set up Preptrack in 2020 because of my first-hand experience with PrEP, and finding it way too complicated. Along with the other founding trustees, I spent a few months talking with PrEP users, clinicians, and all sorts of folks working in sexual health to understand how they felt. Building an app to make PrEP simple seemed like a natural way to help, so off we went! We’ve come a long way in just a few years, and I’ve loved every minute.