Nanostructured platinum and its alloys/intermetallics are known for their excellent catalytic property in various hydrogenation and dehydrogenation reactions. These properties depend highly on the size, shape, crystal phase, and composition of the nanomaterials. In this talk, I will present our recent results on the design, synthesis and growth analysis of Pt and PtM (M=Co, Pb, Ru) nanorods and multipods. Besides surface capping agents, the heterogeneous metal ions in reaction media are shown to play an important role. The effect of several types of crystal defects such as twinning on the growth of nanorods and multipods of face-centered cubic (fcc) metal nanostructures will be addressed. A statistical thermodynamic analysis and a surface coverage model will be used to understand the mechanism for the anisotropic growth observed for intermetallic PtM nanorods. The higher-than-usual electrocatalytic properties of these nanomaterials towards methanol oxidation will also be discussed.