© 2019 Federation of European Biochemical Societies Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress conditions promote a cellular adaptive mechanism called the unfolded protein response (UPR) that utilizes three stress sensors, inositol-requiring protein 1, protein kinase RNA-like ER kinase, and activating transcription factor 6. These sensors activate a number of pathways to reduce the stress and facilitate cell survival. While much is known about the mechanisms involved that modulate apoptosis during chronic stress, less is known about the transition between the prosurvival and proapoptotic factors that determine cell fate. Here, we employed a genetic screen that utilized three different pharmacological stressors to induce ER stress in a human-immortalized airway epithelial cell line, immortalized human bronchial epithelial cells. We followed the stress responses over an 18-h time course and utilized real-time monitoring of cell survival, next-generation sequencing, and quantitative real-time PCR to identify and validate genes that were upregulated with all three commonly employed ER stressors, inhibitor of calpain 1, tunicamycin, and thapsigargin. growth arrest and DNA damage-inducible alpha (GADD45A), a proapoptotic factor, and regulator of calcineurin 1 (RCAN1) mRNAs were identified and verified by showing that small interfering RNA (siRNA) knockdown of GADD45A decreased CCAAT-enhancer-binding protein homologous protein (a.k.a DDIT3), BCL2-binding component 3 (a.k.a. BBC3), and phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate-induced protein 1 expression, 3 proapoptotic factors, and increased cell viability during ER stress conditions, whereas siRNA knockdown of RCAN1 dramatically decreased cell viability. These results suggest that the relative levels of these two genes regulate cell fate decisions during ER stress independent of the type of ER stressor.