I think that any research they do to further the scientific understanding of this baffling problem is great. And if a prominent researcher claims he thinks that a solution is near, that's even better.
I can't help but be skeptical, however. How many times have we seen research about a current affliction gets lots of hype but produces no results? Also, the following bit raises more questions than it answers:
Great that they are targeting specific proteins that trigger the autoimmune response. But what I immediately thought of was that one of the theories of peanut allergy is that peanut proteins are everywhere, in products you'd never expect, and some think that this sudden overexposure may have something to do with the allergy.
[Dr. Burks] said that because several peanut proteins are involved in the allergic response, the process of altering enough of the peanut allergens to make a modified peanut that is less likely to cause an allergic reaction would probably render the new peanut no longer a peanut.
"You could end up with a soybean," Burks said. [bold added]
If that is actually the case, or even a contributing factor, would modifying the proteins be a long-term solution? In decades (or less) the pervasive newly-modifed proteins could cause the same problems. And comparing them to a soybean? Soybeans are even more pervasive than peanuts. I know that wasn't the point, but in context it just made it sound even worse.
In spite of my skepticism, I'm really glad to see that this type of article come out, and also "that there are multiple types of studies that are ongoing now." Here's hoping that the full force of human intellect and creativity is applied to this problem.